Royal Troon Vote On Women Members Brought Forward
2 June 2016, 08:13
Royal Troon has brought forward a vote to admit women members to before this year's Open in an apparent reaction to Muirfield's removal from the championship rota.
A comprehensive review of membership policy was announced by Troon in January 2015 and was initially not due to be resolved until the ''back end'' of 2016.
However, the R&A's decision that Muirfield would no longer be considered to host the Open after a vote to allow women members failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required has prompted an acceleration in Troon's process.
A statement from the club released on Wednesday read: "The committee of Royal Troon Golf Club has this week told members that it will propose fundamental changes to the constitution of the club, allowing women members, at a special general meeting on 1st July 2016, before the Open Championship (July 14-17).
"A detailed consultation programme with members found that opening the club to women members is supported by over three quarters of the members who participated in the club's survey.''
Club captain Martin Cheyne added: "Following our consultation with members, the committee of Royal Troon Golf Club is moving to convene a special general meeting on the 1st July, 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.
"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.
"That is why we are moving quickly to a special general meeting and to have these matters resolved as swiftly as possible following our consultation. We will make a further statement after that meeting.''
Troon is currently the only remaining club on the Open rota - reduced to nine after Muirfield's removal - to have a male-only membership policy, with Royal St George's voting last year to admit women members.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews also voted to end its 260-year-old male-only membership policy in September 2014.
Troon has always considered itself a special case in this respect as it shares facilities with the Ladies Golf Club, Troon. Both clubs will shoulder the responsibility of hosting the Open via a joint championship committee.
Asked if the reaction to Muirfield's vote, both from the R&A and the wider public, would influence Troon's review, Cheyne told Press Association Sport on May 20: ''I think what our members will do is view the results of Muirfield's vote and that will inform any decision they make. I think it will help to clarify their decision.
''To try and anticipate the results would be ill-advised, but I think that given the position of both Muirfield and the R&A that they will take it into account.''