While not the most important vote in Scotland this week, the R&A’s decision to allow female members was long overdue.
In a week where there is a lot of serious voting going on in Scotland, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club have voted to accept female members.
The historic, and somewhat antediluvian club has more than 2400 members across the world and more than 75 per cent of them cast their vote in the ballot with more than 85 per cent in favour of accepting female members.
“This vote has immediate effect and I can confirm that The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is now a mixed membership club,” Dawson, who retires next year, said in a statement.
“The membership has also acted to fast-track a significant initial number of women to become members in the coming months,” said Peter Dawson, secretary of the R&A Peter Dawson.
Up until this historic day, female were not permitted to be a part of the organisation that resides over the rules of golf for everywhere but the United States and Mexico. They couldn’t step foot in the club house at St.Andrews (not even the Queen) and had no say on the running of the game.
Bobby Jones was once quoted as saying “You might as well praise me for not robbing banks,” after he called a penalty on himself after his ball moved which cost him the 1925 US Open.
While it’s tempting to praise the R&A with a similar sounding quote, the decision to vote and later result finally bring’s golf into the 21st century.
For a club that holds so much sway over the game world-wide, this was inevitable – albeit a little late – and the decision has already caused other male-only golf clubs to question their admittance rules such as Royal St.George and Muirfield’s Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.