Glasgow & West Scotland

Royal Troon: Open Championship venue votes to allow women members

Royal Troon Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Royal Troon last held the Open Championship in 2004 when it was won by America's Todd Hamilton

Royal Troon members have voted "overwhelmingly" at a special meeting to allow women to join.

The Scottish golf club said a recent consultation found that admitting women members was supported by over three-quarters of those who participated.

Muirfield voted in May not to admit women members and lost its right to stage the Open Championship.

Royal Troon, situated in South Ayrshire, is the host for this year's Open, which runs from 14-17 July.

Troon said in January it would review of its male-only membership policy.

Club captain Martin Cheyne said: "We have said a number of times recently that it is important for golf clubs to reflect the society in which we exist and the modern world that looks to us.

"Therefore, I am delighted with the decision taken by Members of Royal Troon this evening and look forward to welcoming women to our great Club.

"It is the right decision for the Club today, and for the generations of golfers that will follow."

The vote came just two weeks before the Ayrshire course was due to be the venue for the Open.

'Common sense'

Mr Cheyne added: "Tonight, we turn our attention to jointly hosting the 145th Open Championship with our great friends at The Ladies Golf Club, Troon.

"We can now all be focused on golf and showcasing this wonderful club and golf course to the huge global audience that this most prestigious Championship commands."

The decision has been welcomed by the sport's governing body, the Royal and Ancient.

A statement from it said: "We welcome this decision by the membership at Royal Troon and recognise its significance for the club.

"Our focus today is very much on The 145th Open in just under two weeks' time but we can now look forward to many more great Championships at Royal Troon in years to come."

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: "A victory for equality and common sense. Well done, Royal Troon. Hopefully Muirfield will follow suit."

Muirfield's decision in May not to admit women members was greeted with anger in and out of the game and the course was stripped of the right to host the Open.

The East Lothian club held a ballot at the end of a two-year consultation on membership but failed to get the two-thirds majority of its 648 eligible voters required to change policy.

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which runs Muirfield, said it is now seeking a fresh ballot.