Thursday, August 18, 2022
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One of Scotland’s top men-only golf clubs could be set to allow women members after 278 years

ONE of Scotland’s top men-only golf clubs has held an “informal meeting” to discuss the possibility of admitting female members.

The Royal Burgess Golfing Society has opened a motion to members to determine whether or not the club should finally admit women golfers after 278 years.

The club, which claims to be the oldest golfing society in the world having been founded in 1735, have been at the centre of a heated debate on men-only clubs.

Despite a progression towards opening the doors to women, according to one member the meeting”concluded little.”

If the Edinburgh club are to successfully change their rules, they will need two thirds of their 800 members to vote in favour of the move.

Graham Callander, the general manager at Royal Burgess, confirmed the meeting had taken place, but refused to comment on the proposed changes.

One member, who asked not to be named, said that he believes there is “little chance” the move will be supported.

He said: “It concluded little. They have decided to have a sort of referendum, where members will vote on the motion.

“But change needs a 66 percent vote in favour, and personally, I see little chance that his change would be supported.”

One of ten royal golf clubs in Scotland, its members include Hamish Grey, the chief executive of the Scottish Golf Union (SGU).

Mr Grey’s decision to accept an invitation to join the club two years ago, sparked a debate within the sport, as it came in the middle of the SGU’s bid to merge with the Scottish Ladies Golf Association.

The New Zealander was criticised at the time, however, Douglas Connon, SGU chairman at the time, defended Mr Grey’s decision.

Mr Connon said: “I do not see that Hamish Grey’s membership of a single sex club has any bearing on his position as chief executive of the SGU. The Equality Act allows men and women to be members of single-sex clubs.”

While the row is not thought to have directly impacted the merger process, the two parties are still in discussions as the move has been rejected twice by the men’s area associations.

It is thought that if Royal Burgess opens its doors to women, this would crank up the pressure on other clubs, such as Muirfield, to follow.

Earlier this year First Minister Alex Salmond boycotted the Open Championship which was held at Muirfield because of the debate on men-only clubs, while Prime Minister David Cameron said that the male-only rules were “more to the past than to the future.”

Scots golf pro. Carly Booth, said she hopes the “old school tradition” would change.

She said: “Lots of places have separate male and female clubhouses. I don’t see why. It just isn’t right.”


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