Just weeks before the 2016 Open Championship, the members of host club Royal Troon voted "overwhelmingly" on Friday evening to admit female members for the first time.
“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," said Royal Troon captain Dr. Martin Cheyne in a statement. "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 club's membership had expected this vote to go this way, with a test ballot garnering some 75 percent in support.
Royal Troon also has a ladies club, Troon Ladies, which is co-hosting the Open with the male membership.
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The R&A, which runs the Open, has made it clear that clubs in the Open rotation need to have male and female members to continue hosting the game's oldest major championship. In May, Muirfield members were unsuccessful in a bid to change their club's constitution to admit female members, falling short of the two-thirds majority required. The R&A immediately removed the 16-time Open host from the rotation. In the wake of the fallout from that vote, Muirfield members are pursuing a second vote on the question of admitting women.
“We welcome this decision by the membership at Royal Troon and recognize its significance for the club," said the R&A through a spokesman in a statement. “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.”
The 2016 Open Championship will be played July 14-17.