Och aye the yes! Wimbledon golfers delighted with Royal and Ancient Golf Club vote which puts female membership on par with males

Wimbledon golfers are delighted that the Scottish ‘home of golf’ voted in favour of allowing women members yesterday.

On the day of the Scottish referendum vote the Royal and Ancient Golf Club (R&A) in St Andrews balloted its 2,500 global members – 85% said ‘yes’ to female members.

In its 260-year history it has been strictly males only, but now the rules have been relaxed allowing women members.

Wimbledon golf club members told SW Londoner they were backing a ‘yes’ vote because they believe their female membership has brought more to their clubs and to the game of golf itself.

Bridget Lewis, 65, has been a member of Royal Wimbledon Golf Club for 15 years and explained that women should be on a par on the golf course.

She said: “Wimbledon golf clubs are very equal, unlike some other parts of the country who don’t allow women to play at weekends.

“Even my husband is in favour and he’s been playing  20 years,” she added.

Wimbledon golf club SWL

There is also an indication that this will be positive for the development of youth players.

Mrs Lewis’s golfing partner, Caroline Bennfors, 49, a visiting Junior Organiser for Worplesdon Golf Club in Surrey, said this outcome would encourage young female players to take up golf.

She said: “Golf is no longer an old boys’ club. The R&A are now bringing themselves into the 21st century.”

Since the introduction of female memberships, the number of golf clubs springing up across the UK has risen sharply.

Golf Development Manager Gary Clements, 52, has more than 30 years’ experience at Wimbledon Common Golf Club.

He said ladies only became members in 2008 and they now have 50 female players.

“Clubs aren’t holding on to the old traditions as they are no longer there.”

Clubhouse Manager at Wimbledon Common Golf Club Emma Pope, 36, said she believes women should be members of the R&A to encourage equal opportunities in golf.

Wimbledon Golf Club Emma Pope SWL

In Wimbledon golf terms, WAGS, not wives and girlfriends but the Wimbledon Ancient Golf Society, still hang on to their traditions.

They may have accepted female members, but they still enjoy their social customs.

Emma said: “Some of the male members who have been here for 30-40 years still sit on the other side of the room like they have for years, but the women have certainly livened it up!”

Featured picture courtesy of Andrew (Black Stove), with thanks

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