Wednesday, June 01, 2016

TROON, Scotland (AP) -- Royal Troon Golf Club, the host of this year's British Open, is set to end its male-only membership policy after more than three quarters of members in a survey backed allowing in women.

Troon said in a statement on Wednesday that its committee will propose at a July 1 meeting that its membership grants approval for female members to join.

"Recently we spoke about the need for our club to reflect the modern society in which we exist and I am pleased that a large majority of members who responded to our survey agree and support opening the club to women," Troon's club captain Martin Cheyne said.

"Looking ahead to the Open Championship, we want Scotland to be proud of Royal Troon Golf Club and the Ladies' Golf Club, Troon as we jointly host this most prestigious competition in front of a worldwide audience."

Royal Troon, formed in 1878, is sharing the responsibility of hosting next year's British Open with The Ladies Golf Club in Troon that uses its facilities.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews decided in 2014 to open its membership to women after 260 years of male exclusivity.

But Muirfield was banned last month from hosting the Britsh Open after its membership didn't approve female members joining.

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which owns Muirfield, announced its decision to retain the club's male-only policy following a ballot of its members. A two-thirds majority was required for change. Out of 616 members who voted, 36 percent were against allowing women.

Within minutes, the Royal and Ancient, which runs the British Open, said Muirfield was off the list of 10 courses that can host golf's oldest major championship.

Golfers past and present backed the R&A's stance.

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