Golf club Royal Troon to vote on women members before hosting Open Championship
Golf club Royal Troon will vote on allowing women members before hosting this year's Open Championship.
A comprehensive review of the South Ayrshire club's membership policy was announced in January 2015 and was initially not due to be resolved until the ''back end'' of 2016, according to club captain Martin Cheyne.
However, the removal of East Lothian club Muirfield from the Open rota after a vote on admitting women members failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required last month appears to have accelerated the process.
A statement from Royal Troon released on Wednesday read: "The committee of Royal Troon Golf Club has this week told members that it will propose fundamental changes to the constitution of the club, allowing women members, at a special general meeting on 1st July 2016, before the Open Championship.
"A detailed consultation programme with members found that opening the club to women members is supported by over three quarters of the members who participated in the club's survey."
Mr Cheyne added: "Following our consultation with members, the committee of Royal Troon Golf Club is moving to convene a special general meeting on July 1, at which we will propose that the constitution of the club is changed to allow women members to join on exactly the same basis as the men.
"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.
"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.
"That is why we are moving quickly to a special general meeting and to have these matters resolved as swiftly as possible following our consultation. We will make a further statement after that meeting."
Muirfield's vote against accepting women members prompted political leaders to weigh in on the issue on, with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon describing the result as ''indefensible'' and Prime Minister David Cameron saying it was ''outdated''.
Troon is currently the only remaining club on the nine-strong Open rota to have a male-only membership policy, with Royal St George's voting last year to admit women members.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews also voted to end its 260-year-old male-only membership policy in September 2014.
Troon has always considered itself a special case in this respect as it shares facilities with the Ladies' Golf Club, Troon. Both clubs will shoulder the responsibility of hosting the Open via a joint Championship Committee.