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R&A names Seven Women Honorary Members to the Club!

R&A names Seven Women Honorary Members to the Club!


R&A names Seven Women Honorary Members to the Club!

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This is a great story following Royal Troon’s report’s heels allowing women members to their club. 

Things are a-changing over in Scotland, and it’s about time too.  Glad to see this.

Alistair Tait of fills us in on the details.

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland –– The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has taken the next step toward equality by naming 14 women as members of the previously all-male club.

Seven honorary members and seven full members have been admitted to the 261-year-old club. It follows the club’s announcement last September that the club would break with tradition and admit women.

Princess Anne tops a list of honorary members, including Laura Davies, Renee Powell, Belle Robertson, Lally Segard, Annika Sorenstam, and Louise Suggs. The seven full members will not be named in keeping with the Royal & Ancient’s policy of not discussing ordinary members, only honorary ones.

R&A names Seven Women Honorary Members to the Club!

Annika Sorenstam is now an Honorary Member of the R&A.

R&A names Seven Women Honorary Members to the Club!

“The process of bringing women into the club has begun in earnest, and the ball is rolling,” Dawson said.

“We have been meticulous in applying the same criteria that would apply to men. We’re not making any different sets of criteria.

“As far as ordinary members, seven women have become members of the club just recently. All of them have a background either as players and or administrators in the game.”

Another eight ordinary women members will be announced in the next three years as the committee plans to reach a total of 15. Expect the club to add to the list of honorary members, too, bring it to 15, as well.

Princess Anne is the only one of the honorary members who doesn’t play golf. However, the Royal & Ancient has a history of inviting the British royal family members to join the club. The Duke of Edinburgh, the Duke of Kent, and Prince Andrew are already honorary members.

Princess Anne is a patron of Scottish rugby, a former Olympian, and a member of the Olympic committee. While her invitation follows the Royal & Ancient’s form book, her inclusion will raise some eyebrows considering how she once described the game: “Golf seems to me to be an arduous way to go for a walk. I’d much rather take the dogs out.”

At least at St. Andrews, she can do just that. Dogs are welcome at the Home of Golf.

The other names come as no surprise. The R&A has a history of handing out honorary memberships to players who have either just finished their careers or are coming to the end of their competitive days. Peter Alliss, Tony Jacklin, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Peter Thomson, Lee Trevino, Roberto De Vicenzo, and Tom Watson are honorary members.

The list following Princess Anne has been put together for obvious reasons. Davies is Britain’s most successful female golfer, with four major wins.

“It’s an incredible honor,” Davies said. “I’ve had such an amazing time lately. The Damehood, the Hall of Fame, and now this lovely news. This is such a historic moment in golf’s history, and I feel fortunate to be a part of it.”

Sorenstam won 10 majors during her amazing career. Suggs is widely known as the founder of women’s professional golf, doing a lot to help establish the LPGA. Powell is well known for her work with poor children.

She played for Great Britain & Ireland in seven Curtis Cups. Segard is one of France’s most outstanding amateurs and helped the Espirito Santo Trophy, the Women’s World Amateur Team Championship.

Source:  Alistair Tait

Pictures: Keith Allison

Thanks for reading – R&A names Seven Women Honorary Members to the Club!

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