Women on the verge of joining the R&A GC

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Golf’s rulers – the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews - has written to all 2,500 of its current members recommending they agree to allow women to join.

Wilson Sibbet, chairman of the club’s influential General Committee, has written to members with a clear message that they should accept the change as inevitable.

He says: "Now now is the time to ask members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to welcome female members into the club.It is of course for members to decide if they wish to alter the rules of the club to give effect to this change of policy.

"The General Committee sincerely hopes that this rules change will be enthusiastically supported."

There will be a discussion on the longtime thorny subject at the club’s spring meeting followed by an Autumn vote.

The move follows outrage levelled at the R&A for allowing clubs hosting the Open Championship to continue to exclude women. Trouble again flared before the staging of last year’s Open at men-only Muirfield.

Afterwards R&A chief executive Peter Dawson referred to a ‘direction of travel’ leading the game away from the practice of excluding women.

Vastly experienced coach and player Viv Saunders, the first European to qualify for the LPGA Tour in 1969, has been leading the fight for equality and today told TG: “This is fantastic news, only right and sensible.

“To be honest, I don’t think many women will join the R&A but really it’s all about getting the message over though I must say Peter Dawson has been brilliant about this and if it happens before he retires it’ll be absolutely fantastic.

“Maybe this has something to do with golf returning to the Olympics in Brazil in 2016 and they’ve decided to get their act in order for that.”