Royal Troon calls urgent meeting to change men-only constitution

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 2, 2016 11:28

The host of this year’s Open Championship, Royal Troon, has unexpectedly announced that it proposes to allow women to become members just two weeks before the event takes place this July.

Royal Troon is the last remaining golf club on the Open’s hosting rota to be men-only, after Edinburgh-based Muirfield was taken off the list following its decision to continue its ban on women becoming members last month.

The Ayrshire club was awarded the decision to host the event four years ago but, since then, The R&A has announced that it will no longer consider men-only golf clubs as being suitable to host the event.

Newspaper reports in April, and comments from the club’s captain, Martin Cheyne, at the time, suggested that the club was reviewing its men-only policy but this would remain in place by the time of this year’s Open Championship. The R&A’s CEO, Martin Slumbers, also confirmed then that this would not be a problem.

royal troon kennysarmy

Royal Troon’s clubhouse. Flickr / kennysarmy

“It’s my view that we need to give them the respect and the freedom to consult with their members as they wish,” he said. “It takes time to work through this. I look forward to the outcome whenever that is.”

It was also thought that Royal Troon would face a degree of immunity from the negativity because of its proximity to the all-female The Ladies’ Golf Club, Troon, which The R&A has said will co-host the Open this year.

However, the national and even international criticism and ridicule of Muirfield, including comments from some of the world’s best golfers and many others in the industry, following its vote, seems to have changed that, with seemingly some at The R&A and at Royal Troon fearful that the focus on the men-only policy will overshadow the event.

Therefore, a special general meeting has been called for July 1 – two weeks before the Open tees off – to vote on changing the club’s constitution to open its doors to women.

It follows 75 percent of the current male membership indicating support for the move in a recent survey conducted by the club.

“Following our consultation with members, the committee of Royal Troon Golf Club is moving to convene a special general meeting on July 1, at which we will propose that the constitution of the club is changed to allow women members to join on exactly the same basis as the men,” said Cheyne.

“Recently we spoke about the need for our club to reflect the modern society in which we exist and I am pleased that a large majority of members who responded to our survey agree and support opening the club to women.

“Looking ahead to the Open Championship, we want Scotland to be proud of Royal Troon Golf Club and the Ladies’ Golf Club, Troon as we jointly host this most prestigious competition in front of a worldwide audience. We will make a further statement after that meeting.”


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir June 2, 2016 11:28
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1 Comment

  1. Julie wilshaw June 2, 16:07

    Well done ,coming into the 20 th century , so many women are as good ,not better as men at golf , they do not want to take over just play

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