An Aberdeen golf club’s decision to allow female members for the first time in its 238-year history was today hailed as “a long time coming”.
Members of Royal Aberdeen voted “overwhelmingly” to let women join, with 97% of nearly 200 members backing the move.
Female golfers previously had to join the separate Aberdeen Ladies Golf Club, which had full access to the same facilities as Royal Aberdeen.
As of now, there are no plans to merge the clubs into one, however, a working group will be set up involving both clubs to help plan for the future.
Professional golfer Gemma Dryburgh, of Aberdeen, praised the move.
She said: “It is fantastic to hear that Royal Aberdeen has unanimously voted to accept women members. I think golf is moving in the right direction and it is great to see women being included everywhere. Women’s golf in general is improving in exposure around the world and we need our golf clubs at home to be moving in the right direction as well. So it is fantastic news.”
Kirsty Blackman, MSP for Aberdeen North, added: “This news has been a long time coming, and I’m glad Royal Aberdeen has seen sense and recognised this is the right thing to do.
“It’s a shame the vote wasn’t unanimous, as that indicates there are still a few people who want to discriminate based on gender, but the overwhelming majority have shown themselves to be on the right side of progress.”
Royal Aberdeen’s golf director Ronnie MacAskill said: “This is something that we’ve been looking at for some time. We put out a survey to our members last year. Part of that survey did include the question of our single sex status.
“The membership as a whole felt that was something that we should address.”
When asked what the driving force behind the change was, Mr MacAskill said: “We’re 238 years old and you’ve got to be continually looking at your rules and constitution. That’s something that we do every year with the committees and the captains.”
He added that the survey was “the catalyst for moving this forward and letting the members decide because we are a members club”.