Sports and Scores
 

R&A asks members to allow women to join

(AP Photo/Matt Dunham) ** EDITORIAL USE ONLY **)

By DOUG FERGUSON


Associated Press

(AP) -- The Royal & Ancient Golf Club, exclusively for men since it was founded 260 years ago at St. Andrews, will vote in September on whether women can join the club.

"It's an exciting day for the club," R&A club secretary Peter Dawson said Wednesday. "There will be quite a bit of internal discussion between now and the September vote. It's a matter for the members to determine. All indications are very supportive."

A statement from club said that all committees were "strongly in favor of the rule change" and asked members to go along.

The move was hailed by British sports minister Helen Grant, who was hopeful a favorable vote would encourage other single-sex golf clubs to follow suit.

Dawson, however, said the vote would have no bearing on whether the British Open is played on links courses that exclude women as members - Royal St. George's, Royal Troon and Muirfield, where Phil Mickelson won last year. The Open returns to Troon in 2016.

"I don't want you to think there's any connection between this vote and these issues," Dawson said. "What other clubs choose to do in the UK is not connected to this. ... To be entirely honest, we're not here to put pressure on other clubs that have supported The Open Championship and other R&A championships."

The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has about 2,400 members from around the world and dates to 1754. The clubhouse is among the most famous buildings in golf, overlooking the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Augusta National for years was the symbol of men-only golf clubs because it hosts The Masters every April. The club announced in August 2012 that it had invited women to join for the first time - former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore.

Even though Augusta National went 80 years without a female member, it had no policy that barred women from joining. The R&A had such a policy, and that's what will be voted on in September.

Dawson said he did not think Augusta National's decision had any bearing on the R&A Golf Club.

"We noted what happened at Augusta," he said. "They have their own procedure of doing things. We are doing this because of our governance role."

He also said the R&A did not feel pressure from any of its corporate sponsors, who were subjected to the debate at the British Open.

"You can always ask that question: `Why now? Why not 10 years ago?' The R&A have been considering this. It's been on our agenda, on our radar, for quite some time," Dawson said. "The feeling is as society changes, as sport changes, as golf changes, it's something the R&A needs to do, and is doing now as being forward-looking as we can."

The 2,400-member club and the group that runs The Open are separate entities.

For years, the men-only Royal & Ancient was in charge of the Rules of Golf for every country in the world except for the United States and Mexico, which are governed by the USGA. And it operated the British Open, the oldest championship in golf.

Ten years ago, the administrative duties were split off into a corporate structure that is called "The R&A," of which Dawson is the chief executive. That's the group in charge of the Rules of Golf and organizing The Open and other R&A championships.

And while "The R&A" has female employees, its committee and board roles are populated by members of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club. So there are no women in leadership roles when it comes to rules and championship golf.

That likely will change with a favorable vote in September for female members.

"This is welcome news from the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, and I urge its members to follow their committees' recommendations and vote `yes' for women members," Grant said in a statement. "It would mark a step in the right direction for the sport and I would hope encourage the remaining golf clubs that still have anachronistic single-sex member policies to follow suit."

While the members have access to the R&A clubhouse behind the first tee at the Old Course, R&A members belong to a club, not a golf course. The seven golf courses at St. Andrews are open to the public.

Updated March 26, 2014

? © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Audio On Demand

Bill Belichick joins Dale…

Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve to talk about the next round of cuts, 8-25-14

Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick joins Dale and Steve DeOssie to talk about cutting the roster down to 53 players. Jimmy Garoppolo is set to start and play most, if not all of the preseason contest against the Giants. Bill also expressed his thoughts about the kicking game and how some of the new rules have affected the importance of it.

It Is What It Is Cast: Jimmy Garoppolo to start preseason finale

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the news that Jimmy Garoppolo will get the start Thursday and play most of the game. They talk about what it might mean for Ryan Mallett.

Julian Edelman: Brady is always competitive. 8-25-14

Julian Edelman joins Christian and Danny Picard to talk about his approach going into the season, his performance this preseason, as well as the VMAs, and preventing cramps using mustard.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Bo…

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston, "I think Rondo is going to go, I just don't see where and how yet" 7-17-14

Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.

Jackie MacMullan, ESPN Boston: I believe Rondo will be traded 7-10-14

Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.

OK State Men's Basketball coach, Travis Ford, joins MFB to talk about Marcus Smart, 6-30-14

Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.

Clay Buchholz with Joe Ca…

Clay Buchholz with Joe Castiglione after his shutout in Tampa Bay

Joe talked to the Sox right-hander, who allowed three hits and zero walks in the 3-0 win over the Rays.

Dale and Holley are joined by John Farrell

Red Sox Manager John Farrell talks about Bogaerts' concussion and the youth movement.

Buster Olney talks Castillo, Stanton, Koji and Lester, 8-27-14

As he does every Wednesday, Buster Olney, ESPN, joins the boys of MFB to talk baseball. This week Buster shed some light on what to expect from Rusney Castillo, and how Cuban players are being viewed. He suggests that the acquisition of Castillo helps Boston's chances to get Giancarlo Stanton. Also, the Sox should shut down Koji if they want to re-sign him.

The Bradfo Show: Talking …

The Bradfo Show: Talking Bruins roster moves with DJ Bean, Turtleboy

Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.

DJ Bean breaks down the first hours of NHL Free Agency 7-1-14

DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla

DJ Bean, WEEI.com. The Bruins are not traded Marchand 6-13-14

DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau

Headlines, Headlines, Hea…

Headlines, Headlines, Headlines - Nude Celebrities, 9-1-14

Hackers obtained hundreds private photo's of celebrities such as Kate Upton and Jennifer Lawrence. Also, Market Basket is back in business, and Pete Frates and his wife Julie have a baby girl, Lucy.

Butch, Fred and Steve on Labor Day, 9-1-14

The usual suspects had the day off so the hosts of The Real Post Game Show stepped to talk about the Pats. Logan Mankins and Ryan Mallett were both traded and Miami is 6 days away.

John Frates on his son Peter and Fred Smerlas 8-29-14

John Frates called in to the show to discuss his son Peter and his past experience with Fred.

MFB discuss the release o…

MFB discuss the release of Michael Sam from the Rams roster, 9-1-14

7th round draft pick Michael Sam was trying to be the first openly-gay player in the NFL. With only 7 days to go before the season opener, the Rams released him on one of the last round of cuts.

Ryan Mallett traded to the Texans, 9-1-14

The Patriots finally completed a deal that was speculated for weeks, when they traded back up QB Ryan Mallett to the Texans for a conditional 7th round pick. Mallett will be reunited with former New England quarterbacks coach Bill O'Brien.

Are the Pats a better team without Logan Mankins? 8-28-14

More reaction from the Logan Mankins-Tim Wright trade.

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, Pat…

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, Patriots Preseason, 8-29-14

Tom Curran recaps the Pats preseason and talks about some of the players who may get cut.

Michael Irvin joins Dale and Holley 8-29-14

Michael Irvin talks about the final preseason game for the Patriots and the biggest storylines heading into the opening weekend.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - Summer Memories, 8-29-14

We recap the summer's biggest sports stories leading into Labor Day Weekend.

Jim Koch joins Planet Mik…

Jim Koch joins Planet Mikey

Co-founder and chairman of the Boston Beer Company, Jim Koch, talks about his Sam Adams beer and the history of his brewery.

Danny Picard talks Red Sox and Patriots with Mike Giardi

Danny picard is filling in for Mikey and talks with CSNNE's Mike Giardi about Clay Buchholz heading up the Red Sox pitching rotation, and how the Patriots have looked through training camp so far.

Jon Lester's Contract Situation and the Future

Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.

Fantasy Football Podcast:…

Fantasy Football Podcast: Auction drafts, big names to avoid, and more! 8-31-14

Fantasy Football Drafts are now happening every day, so Pete Davidson and Jim Hackett have you covered. The NFL season kicks off on Thursday night, so Pete and Jim get their final thoughts of some drafting strategies. They discuss their Auction draft from earlier in the week. Also, some big name players that smart drafters should avoid.

Fantasy Football Podcast: Late Round Targets Edition

We know your Fantasy Football drafts are happening right now, so Jim Hackett and Pete Davidson are here to help. We know you’d never blow off work to draft right? Turn up the speakers! Our fantasy guys chat up Pete’s most recent article on WEEI.com that offers background on several players you can target late in drafts across multiple league sizes; covering upside players to grab in 8-team leagues, 10-team leagues, 12-team leagues and 14-team leagues. Jim and Pete will be back at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday morning on your radio dial, 93.7 FM, with more ammo for all this weekend’s drafters. Good luck!

Minor Details Ep. 98: Youth without the transition - Rusney Castillo and Brock Holt

How can teams acquire players who are entering their primes without having to live through the potentially massive transition of prospects coming from the minors to the big leagues? The Red Sox have two such case studies. The signing of Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo represents one effort to acquire a player for his prime years for whom the transition to big league-caliber competition might not be turbulent. Red Sox assistant director of player personnel discusses the scouting process involved with landing Castillo. The episode also features Brock Holt, the one rookie who played at a consistently high level for the Red Sox this year. Holt explores some of the distinctions that might help to explain why he did not experience some of the struggles that characterized the seasons of Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr.

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, Pat…

Tom E. Curran, CSNNE, Patriots Preseason, 8-29-14

Tom Curran recaps the Pats preseason and talks about some of the players who may get cut.

More from this show

John Frates on his son Pe…

John Frates on his son Peter and Fred Smerlas 8-29-14

John Frates called in to the show to discuss his son Peter and his past experience with Fred.

More from this show

The Garappolo era begins …

The Garappolo era begins 8-29-14

Buck, Fred and Jerry Thornton opened the show by discussing the start of Jimmy Garappolo's career in New England.

More from this show

Patriot's 53 man roster

Patriot's 53 man roster

Danny and Mike Giardi talk about the final cuts made by the Patriot's to get to the 53 man roster

More from this show

Are the Pats a better tea…

Are the Pats a better team without Logan Mankins? 8-28-14

More reaction from the Logan Mankins-Tim Wright trade.

More from this show

Weei Writers