260-Year-Old 'Home of Golf' to Finally Allow Women

Royal and Ancient Golf Club's members vote in favor of move
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2014 2:18 AM CDT
260-Year-Old Scottish Golf Club Votes to Allow Women
FILE- In this Aug. 5, 2007, file photo, Lorena Ochoa, of Mexico, plays a shot off the first fairway during the Women's British Open golf tournament on the Old Course at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews, Scotland. Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews has voted overwhelmingly Thursday,...   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

There were two big issues being resolved in Scotland yesterday. The 2,400 members of a very old boys' club, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St. Andrews, had been asked to weigh in by postal ballot on whether to allow women to become members, and it was yesterday announced that 85% of the turnout said yes, reports the Telegraph. "This is a very important and positive day in the history of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club," said the club's chief executive, who'd taken some heat for previously saying single-sex clubs are "just kind of, for some people, a way of life that they rather like."

Founded back in 1754, the club was originally granted access to play on the land as long as the then-Archbishop of St. Andrews would still retain ownership of the rabbits found on the course. Also called the "home of golf" and the "Old Course," it has played host to a whopping 28 British Open Championships, the most recent in 2010. Amid recent controversy, sponsors had grown uneasy about being affiliated with the restrictive club, reports the New York Times. Three male-only clubs remain in the nine-course Open rotation—Muirfield, Royal St. George’s and Royal Troon—so the debate may still run its course. (More golf stories.)

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