Royal Troon writes to members over its admission policy

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Royal Troon Golf Club has taken a new step towards admitting women as members for the first time.

Troon and Muirfield are the only remaining clubs on the 10-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, which stages the Open this year, 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.

Speaking on April 26, Royal Troon captain Martin Cheyne said members would be canvassed for their views, with a decision expected to be reached before the end of the year.

In a letter to members on Tuesday, Cheyne said the club should consider its place in the modern world.

He wrote, according to the Scotsman: "As we look forward to jointly hosting the Open Championship later this summer, the Committee of Royal Troon Golf Club continues with its process regarding the Club's Future Membership Policy and is cognisant of the recent articles in the press and social media, the public discussion surrounding the club, and the statements made by senior politicians.

"We are acting to better understand the views of our members, which will in turn inform the decisions we take. We care very much for the reputation of Royal Troon Golf Club and it is important that the club, much like the wider game, reflects the modern society in which we exist.

"We have today written to all of our members to understand their views and feelings on the issue of the admission of women to the Club. We expect to have a clearer sight of those opinions in the weeks ahead and will make further statements in due course."

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last month said there should be nowhere in Scotland off limits to women, adding that she hoped Royal Troon "reflects on that".