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Royal & Ancient Golf Club to Vote on Allowing Females

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 

http://golfweek.com/news/2014/jul/25/royal-ancient-membership-female-mail-vote/

 

Quote:
 

All members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club will vote on women joining the 260-year-old, previously male-only club, rather than just those who turn up to the club’s Sept. 18 business meeting.

The Royal & Ancient, the members’ club attached to the R&A, released a statement today which read:

“A postal ballot among members of the Club on a motion to admit women as members will be conducted prior to the announcement of the result on 18 September 2014. This replaces the vote that was previously scheduled to take place at the Club’s Business Meeting on that day. By taking this decision all members can take part in this historic vote.”

This is the first time the Royal & Ancient has allowed postal voting in its 260-year history. The issue is of such historical importance that a large number of members have been privately campaigning to have their voices heard. Previously the decision was going to be made by the 300 or so who normally turn up for the business meeting.

The club has to get through the rule change to allow postal voting, first, but it seems like one of the oldest golf clubs in the world is going to move beyond discriminatory practices.

post #2 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post
 

http://golfweek.com/news/2014/jul/25/royal-ancient-membership-female-mail-vote/

 

The club has to get through the rule change to allow postal voting, first, but it seems like one of the oldest golf clubs in the world is going to move beyond discriminatory practices.

 

post #3 of 51
I'm hopeful, but it isn't a foregone conclusion. The R&A is still dominated by elderly men who think women are necessary, sometimes decorative, but definitely not equal. Some things change only when death intervenes.

Naturally, some of them can see no contradiction between their refusal to allow women to join their club, and their stated policy of encouraging greater female participation in the sport.

On a side note, last week in Scotland I played at a course that is jointly played by two clubs - one male-only, one women-only. Their clubhouses occupy separate parts of the same building. Odd. One of the younger male members told me that until a few years ago there was a sign in front of the clubhouse that read "Ladies and trolleys this way".
post #4 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm View Post

I'm hopeful, but it isn't a foregone conclusion. The R&A is still dominated by elderly men who think women are necessary, sometimes decorative, but definitely not equal.
I think that's why they're trying to enact a postal vote. I think I read on their website that they have some 2,500 members worldwide. It's speculated that this is more likely to pass if they can get those votes instead of just the people who show up to the meeting.
post #5 of 51
Another perfectly good, traditional club about to be ruined.

Ah well, that's what Tuesdays are for...... a2_wink.gif
post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post

Another perfectly good, traditional club about to be ruined.

Ah well, that's what Tuesdays are for...... a2_wink.gif

That's good!

I have a different take on it though from this stand point... I am not against having an all male club, but once it is not an all male or all female club then things should be equal.. I hope that makes sense!
post #7 of 51

If the R&A was just a private club (like, say, Muirfield or Augusta National) I'd be inclined to say their membership policies were their own (and nobody else's) business.  If Augusta wants to take its time before making up its collective mind, fine, and if Muirfield wants to forfeit its slot in the Open Rota, there are many angling to fill it.  But given the role the R&A plays in the governance of the game, they are on very thin ice discriminating against women.  I understand this whole issue came up when a woman (who golfs) was made rector (president) of St. Andrews University, a position that more or less automatically results in R&A membership, and she wasn't admitted, which only highlights the quasi-official status of the R&A.

post #8 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DwightC View Post

If the R&A was just a private club (like, say, Muirfield or Augusta National) I'd be inclined to say their membership policies were their own (and nobody else's) business.  If Augusta wants to take its time before making up its collective mind, fine, and if Muirfield wants to forfeit its slot in the Open Rota, there are many angling to fill it.  But given the role the R&A plays in the governance of the game, they are on very thin ice discriminating against women.  I understand this whole issue came up when a woman (who golfs) was made rector (president) of St. Andrews University, a position that more or less automatically results in R&A membership, and she wasn't admitted, which only highlights the quasi-official status of the R&A.
The R&A and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club are two separate entities, as of 2004. The golf club no longer has any role in governance over the game.
post #9 of 51

Bill--thanks for the correction.  

post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post
 

http://golfweek.com/news/2014/jul/25/royal-ancient-membership-female-mail-vote/

 

The club has to get through the rule change to allow postal voting, first, but it seems like one of the oldest golf clubs in the world is going to move beyond discriminatory practices.

The R&A that is considering this change is not a golf club it is a ruling body.  They are more analogous to the USGA, than, for example, the Augusta National Golf Club.  Some folks think they are just the club at St Andrews, but the St. Andrews complex of courses is public and there are a number of golf clubs who call it home.  If memory serves there are something like 5 all-male clubs and 2 all-female clubs.   And this vote has nothing to do with any of those golf clubs.

post #11 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by turtleback View Post
 

The R&A that is considering this change is not a golf club it is a ruling body.  They are more analogous to the USGA, than, for example, the Augusta National Golf Club.  Some folks think they are just the club at St Andrews, but the St. Andrews complex of courses is public and there are a number of golf clubs who call it home.  If memory serves there are something like 5 all-male clubs and 2 all-female clubs.   And this vote has nothing to do with any of those golf clubs.

Interesting. From the article, I was under the impression that the club was voting on the change. Now I'm quite thoroughly confused.

post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by billchao View Post

Interesting. From the article, I was under the impression that the club was voting on the change. Now I'm quite thoroughly confused.

It is the club that is voting. In 2004 it devolved its responsibilities for governing the game to a group of companies collectively known as the R&A. Don't worry about being confused, it's confusing.
post #13 of 51
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chasm View Post

It is the club that is voting. In 2004 it devolved its responsibilities for governing the game to a group of companies collectively known as the R&A. Don't worry about being confused, it's confusing.
Yea that's what I thought originally, but then I thought I read the article wrong.
post #14 of 51
Thread Starter 

http://www.golfdigest.com/blogs/the-loop/2014/08/having-seen-the-light-over-mem.html

 

Quote:
However resistant the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has been to inviting women members in the past, the club sure appears intent on getting them in now. In the ballots that went out last week to its roughly 2,500 members, the club asked two questions: Are you in favor of women members? And if so, would you be open to letting 15 women in at once?
 
RandA-clubhouse-518.jpg
In a departure, the R&A is allowing members to vote on the women's issue remotely. 
Photo by Getty Images 
 
More telling than the questions themselves are the revised conditions for voting. For 260 years the bylaws of the club required members to show up in St. Andrews to cast a ballot. Now it says members can vote remotely. Once requiring two-thirds, this time it's merely seeking a majority.

Just a quick update on this. It seems like they have amended their by-laws and have proceed with the mailings.

post #15 of 51

All male clubs, women only gyms, blacks not allowed on a bus...I'm so glad we live in a world with equality :doh: Its pretty sad that we still face sexism and racism after we learned to walk upright. So many real problems in this world and yet there are still places that won't allow people based on their sex or race. 

post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownCoast View Post
 

All male clubs, women only gyms, blacks not allowed on a bus...I'm so glad we live in a world with equality :doh: Its pretty sad that we still face sexism and racism after we learned to walk upright. So many real problems in this world and yet there are still places that won't allow people based on their sex or race. 

 

Did I miss something?  What Black wasn't allowed on a bus?  :bugout:

 

FWIW though, I find it equally sad that some people want to legislate with whom people may or may not decide to socialize within a private organization.

 

It'll be interesting to see how the club votes.  I hope the vote is "yes".....but absolutely support their right to decide.

post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by David in FL View Post
 

 

Did I miss something?  What Black wasn't allowed on a bus?  :bugout:

 

FWIW though, I find it equally sad that some people want to legislate with whom people may or may not decide to socialize within a private organization.

 

It'll be interesting to see how the club votes.  I hope the vote is "yes".....but absolutely support their right to decide.

History dude, they had whites only and blacks only everything. Both sad and pathetic!!! 

post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrownCoast View Post
 

History dude, they had whites only and blacks only everything. Both sad and pathetic!!! 

 

So you're complaining about something that hasn't happened in 50 years?  Good grief......  :doh:

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