Before it hosts the Open Championship again in 2016, Royal Troon will explore the possibility of ending its all-male membership policy. The 136-year-old club announced Tuesday it was examining inviting women to join the club.
Troon is one of three courses in the Open rota with all-male membership, an anachronism that looks even worse now that the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews voted last year to admit its first female members in its 260-year history. Muirfield and Royal St. George’s are the other two clubs in the rotation without female members, but each have announced they’re also exploring ending that practice. St. George’s membership will vote in 2015 on the issue.
Troon last hosted the Open in 2004, when Todd Hamilton became a surprise winner in a playoff over Ernie Els.
While Troon weighs ending its male-only membership, it has announced an unprecedented step in the formation of a championship committee with male members and women from Troon’s Ladies’ Golf Club.
“Royal Troon Golf Club has hosted the Open on eight occasions since 1923 and in 2016 we will share this responsibility with The Ladies’ Golf Club, Troon as joint hosts of the 145th Open Championship,” said Royal Troon captain Bob Martin. “The clubs enjoy a close working relationship and we look forward to hosting a successful Open here in 2016.”