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

It Is What It Is Cast: Wh…

It Is What It Is Cast: What Patriots need to do to leave Lambeau with win

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview Sunday's Patriots-Packers game, one that many are calling a possible Super Bowl preview.

MMQB's Peter King with Dale and Holley

We get our weekly NFL update with SI/MMQB's Peter King. Peter talks AFC East, first round byes, Jonas Gray/LeGarrette Blount and much more.

Head Coach Bill Belichick with Dale and Holley

The head coach of your New England Patriots Bill Belichick sits down with Dale, Holley and Steve DeOssie after the Patriots win over the Lions on Sunday.

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Mar…

We Hate Dwayne Wade - Marcus Smart injury 11-12-14

How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...

WHDW - Greg Dickerson Joins the Show to talk Celtics

Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.

Kyle Draper, Comcast Sports New England, Celtics will compete for a playoff spot this season

Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston

Pablo Sandoval, newest Re…

Pablo Sandoval, newest Red Sox third baseman, talks about landing in Boston, 11-25-14

The Red Sox trotted out their newest FA acquisition Tuesday afternoon, third baseman, Pablo Sandoval. The Kung Fu Panda then joined MFB to talk about his conversations with (former) Giant teammate, Jake Peavy, about playing Boston. He also stressed that this move was the next big challenge in his life, and addressed some concerns about his defense, stating that he is focused on being at the hot corner for the duration of his contract.

Buster Olney on MFB: "Sandoval decided, apparently, with two equal offers he wanted to go to Boston," 11-24-14

Buster Olney of ESPN joined MFB to talk about all the free agent news surrounding the Red Sox over the past 24 hours

Brian MacPherson, Providence Journal

Red Sox beat writer Brian MacPherson joins Danny Picard to talk about the Red Sox going after Jon Lester and other free agents.

NESN's Jack Edwards with …

NESN's Jack Edwards with Dale and Holley

Dale and Michael get Jack Edwards' 'state of the B' report and talk about the win over the Blues at the Garden on Tuesday.

Andy Brickley, NESN, talks about the Bruins 2-0 win over St. Louis, 11-19-14

Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.

Pierre McGuire, NBC Sports. NHL should have a coach's challenge 11-13-14

Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins struggles, the NHL franchise in Las Vegas, and the return of the glow puck!

The worst Lou Holtz imper…

The worst Lou Holtz impersonation of all time

BC football sideline reporter Scott Mutryn with the worst impersonation of all time.

Ben Cherington on the Sox off-season moves 11-26-14

Ben Cherington joined us to discuss the Sox off-season moves.

John Dennis likes the Packers this Sunday 11-26-14

Dino picked the Pack.

Pablo Sandoval, newest Re…

Pablo Sandoval, newest Red Sox third baseman, talks about landing in Boston, 11-25-14

The Red Sox trotted out their newest FA acquisition Tuesday afternoon, third baseman, Pablo Sandoval. The Kung Fu Panda then joined MFB to talk about his conversations with (former) Giant teammate, Jake Peavy, about playing Boston. He also stressed that this move was the next big challenge in his life, and addressed some concerns about his defense, stating that he is focused on being at the hot corner for the duration of his contract.

Three For All - CNN's coverage of the Ferguson riots, 11-25-14

Today's Three For All focused on the riots in Ferguson, Missouri following the events of last night's trial announcement. There was tear gas, shots being fired, cops cars and building being lit on fire, looting, and female reporter was hit in the head with a rock.

Rodney Harrison, NBC Sports, "The Patriots have the personnel, now, in the secondary" to stop the big plays, 11-25-14

Rodney joined the show to talk about Dan Patrick and Tony Dungy giving him a hard time about the SECOND best catch by a Giant receiver. He also talked about how Minnesota showed that you can slow the Green Bay Packers down by stopping the big plays and stopping Jordy Nelson. Rodney thinks the Patriots have the personnel in the secondary to beat them.

Peter King: Pats in drive…

Peter King: Pats in driver's seat for home field in the AFC

We get our weekly NFL update with SI/MMQB's Peter King. Peter talks AFC East, first round byes, Jonas Gray/LeGarrette Blount and much more.

Dale and Holley's Four at Four - MLB Hall of Fame Ballot Edition - 11-25-14

Dale and Michael give their four selections for the MLB Hall of Fame... this year's finalists were announced today.

Scrimmage scuffle: testiness at Bruins practice might have been overblown (with DJ Bean!)

Dale and Michael talk Bruins and discuss the supposed practice scuffle between Tuukka Rask and Soderberg, and DJ Bean dials us up to give his thoughts.

Brandon Alisoglu gives us…

Brandon Alisoglu gives us an analysis of the Lions

Brandon covers the NFL, particularly the Detroit Lions for Bleacher Report. He gives us his thoughts on this Sunday's game and how the Lions stack up against the Patriots.

Cold, Hard Football Talk

Mikey, Villani, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are talking Patriots-Lions and how the team this year stacks up to Patriots teams of the past.

Wonderin' Why the Lions Suck

Some more Musical Mikey Magic to get ready for Sunday's Patriots-Lions game.

D&C Breaking Balls: Media…

D&C Breaking Balls: Media tweet beefs on evolution 11-24-14

The guys previewed the upcoming Packers Patriots game and discussed the media's latest tweet beef.

UnSportsManLike Podcast - 30 for 30 Ideas 11-21-14

Jerry Thornton's first podcast explores sports stories that would make for interesting 30 for 30 documentaries.

College Puckcast with Andy Merritt and Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy

Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal joined WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin to talk about the play of Vermont and Providence, as well as other happenings around Hockey East. Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also joined the show to talk about his team’s good start, his freshman class and how he uses possession stats.

Tom Brady on the teams 7t…

Tom Brady on the teams 7th straight win 11-24-14

Tom Brady discussed the teams latest win and the great play of Revis.

More from this show

Rob Bradford on Sandoval …

Rob Bradford on Sandoval and Hanley coming to Boston 11-24-14

Rob Bradford joined the show to discuss the latest signings by the Red Sox.

More from this show

D&C Breaking Balls: Media…

D&C Breaking Balls: Media tweet beefs on evolution 11-24-14

The guys previewed the upcoming Packers Patriots game and discussed the media's latest tweet beef.

More from this show

The Patriots won their 7t…

The Patriots won their 7th straight 11-24-14

The guys opened the show by discussing the Patriots latest win.

More from this show

Hanley Ramirez makes no s…

Hanley Ramirez makes no sense for Boston 11-24-14

The guys all disagreed on the Red Sox giving 5 years and 90 million dollars to Hanley Ramirez.

More from this show

Weei Writers