Image of Peter Dawson courtesy of The R&A

Statement from Peter Dawson, Secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club:

“I am very pleased indeed to announce that the membership of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has voted overwhelmingly in favour of welcoming women members.

More than three quarters of the club’s global membership took part in the ballot, with a decisive 85% voting for women to become 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.

The membership has also acted to fast-track a significant initial number of women to become members in the coming months.

This is a very important and positive day in the history of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The R&A has served the sport of golf well for 260 years and I am confident that the club will continue to do so in future with the support of all its members, both women and men.”

On behalf of the Ladies European Tour, Chief Executive Officer Ivan Peter Khodabakhsh commented: “We are delighted to hear the decision of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the founding club of The R&A, to admit women as members. The R&A is a long term patron of the Ladies European Tour and a strong supporter of women’s golf around the world.”

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews holds a unique position in golf. Established in 1754, it evolved through two and half centuries as a leading authority in the world game.

As the Club celebrated its 250th anniversary in 2004 it devolved responsibility for the administration of the Rules of Golf, the running of The Open Championship and other key events, and the development of the game in existing and emerging golf nations, to a newly formed group of companies collectively known as The R&A.

As a separate entity, The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews remains as a private club with a world-wide membership of 2,400.

The Old Course and the other six courses at St Andrews Links are public and open to both women and men. Women have been playing golf on the courses for many years.