Royal Troon set to remain men-only by time of Open Championship

Rosemary Ayim
By Rosemary Ayim April 6, 2016 11:59

Royal Troon Golf Club is set to remain men-only by the time it hosts this year’s Open Championship, despite efforts by The R&A to make the game more attractive to women, according to reports.

In the last year Open Championship host Royal St George’s in Kent passed a motion to make ladies eligible for membership and in 2014 The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, home to the The R&A, voted to end its male-only policy after 260 years.

This, along with a number of comments from members of both the UK and Scottish governments that criticised the awarding of hosting the Open to golf clubs that do not allow women to be members was, it was thought, set to result in Royal Troon Golf Club ending its men-only policy.

Instead, according to The Scotsman, The R&A has said the event will be staged by two golf clubs: the all-male Royal Troon and the all-female The Ladies’ Golf Club, Troon; the first time two clubs have jointly hosted the Open in its history.

‘By the looks of things, however, what appeared to be an attempt to have a men-only policy in place in time for the 145th Open Championship is not going to be successful, meaning the event can probably expect the same wave of negative publicity that cast a shadow over the 2013 visit to Muirfield and left Slumbers’ predecessor, Peter Dawson, close to tearing out his hair in frustration on the eve of the event,’ reports the paper.

The R&A has stated that Royal Troon is currently undertaking a process to review its membership policy, but added that any change is unlikely to be carried out before the Open tees off this July.

“It’s my view that we need to give them the respect and the freedom to consult with their members as they wish,” said R&A CEO Martin Slumbers. “It takes time to work through this. I look forward to the outcome whenever that is. We will listen to that outcome. We have two clubs that are men-only. Both [Muirfield and Royal Troon] are consulting. I keep going back to my general view, that we want golf to be open to all. That’s important on the way I think about life.”

According to the Sunday Times, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which own Muirfield, is on the brink of a vote to accept women as full club members.

‘The issue is to be decided by a postal vote. Insiders believe this makes a vote in favour of admitting women more likely as it will encourage more members to take part in the vote,’ said the story. No timeframe was offered for the vote was given however.


Rosemary Ayim
By Rosemary Ayim April 6, 2016 11:59
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  1. Stuart April 6, 12:59

    I believe they should be allowed as long as they want to decide whether they want to move into the 21st Century. Having said that no more Open’s should be awarded to them until they join
    the 21st Century.

    Reply to this comment
    • Janet April 7, 17:38

      Agree Stuart. Hopefully sponsors will heed the same message and stay away from the Club until the join humanity.

      Reply to this comment
      • GolfSec April 9, 15:00

        How about you ask the people that actually matter, which in the main would be Troon Ladies. Troon Ladies have exactly the same rights to play on the Championship course as Royal Troon, but pay a lot less for the privilege. Were Royal Troon to actually accept women, which they may still do but not before The Open, then in all likelihood it would be Troon Ladies who would suffer, and lead to the loss of yet another club and vastly increased subscriptions for any ladies applying to join Royal Troon.

        Furthermore, if so-called journalists such as Rosemary Ayim did their research they would have known some time ago that Royal Troon were not going to make a decision on their male-only policy prior to The Open. Just need to read press releases properly, not read what you want them to say.

        Reply to this comment
        • Janet April 10, 15:34

          Interesting suggestion that as a result of admitting Lady members Clubs would be lost. I believe by far the majority of Golf Clubs are enriched by offering equal opportunity for membership. Yes Ladies would pay the same for equal access. That is how the sport has evolved successfully elsewhere.

          Reply to this comment
          • GolfSec April 10, 20:31

            As ever, someone reading what that want something to say, not what it actually says. The suggestion is that Troon Ladies would disappear through the admission of ladies to Royal Troon, others male-only clubs admitting ladies would not necessarily have any impact on others given that they do not necessarily have an women-only clubs nearby.

            Royal Troon, following their review, will undoubtedly start admitting ladies. However, it is about time feminists jump down of their high horse and stop pushing their agenda on others. This is nothing to do with evolving the sport.

          • Boaty MacBoatface April 11, 13:58

            GolfSec – you are the reason why so few women play golf! I spoke to one at my club recently she said “I would have played 10 years earlier but I thought women werent allowed to play”

          • GolfSec April 11, 23:44

            If you feel that what I am saying contributes to why so few women play golf, then you are seriously misinformed. One club being single-sex has nothing to do with why so few women play golf, but don’t let that though get in the way of your remarks.

            Schemes like ‘Get Into Golf’ and ‘This Girl Golfs’ are fantastic for beginners and women to be introduced to the sport and are to be applauded. County Golf Unions, mixed clubs, PGA Coaching, there is so much going on out there to encourage people, and in particular ladies, to come into golf. Is there a perception that golf is eliteist? Yes. Is there a perception that it is men only? Yes. Are people missing the point in the debate over Royal Troon accepting women? Yes.

            Royal Troon have committed to a review of membership policy, which will undoubtedly include discussions over allowing women to join, and I am sure that the outcome will be in favour of women joining. However, I do not agree with people pushing their own agendas onto Royal Troon in this subject. Another, entirely separate questions, is whether the R&A should award a men-only club with The Open – well, that may not be a worry in the future.

            Women, to an extent, are the future of our game, and I would do everything to encourage them to play. So, your faux anger is misdirected. If you want to do something about women in golf, then get out there and do something rather than being a keyboard warrior.

          • Boaty MacBoatface April 12, 12:34

            OK, I kind of agree with what you’re saying and I apologise for upsetting you.

            My beef is with the R&A for awarding the Open to men only clubs when it has a negative impact on women playing the game.

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