Edinburgh's Bruntsfield Links votes in favour of admitting women members

Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society, the fourth oldest golf club in the world, has become the third Scottish golf club this year to end its men-only membership policy.

Picture: Lisa Ferguson

A proposal to admit women members was passed unanimously last night, with the male-only status disappearing with immediate effect at a club that was founded in 1761.

The Edinburgh club joins Royal Aberdeen and Panmure in making that move this year while The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, Royal Troon and the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield have all opened doors to women members in the past few years.

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The vote at Bruntsfield Links, which has hosted numerous leading amateur events over the years, as well as being an Open Regional Qualifying venue for a spell, was passed with a majority of 83.7 per cent, with 67 per cent of all voting members participating.

Welcoming the decision, club captain Mike Smith said: “This is an historic occasion for the Society with overwhelming support to allow the Society to welcome ladies as members.

“This change, together with a £1.2m investment in our course redevelopment will ensure we are well positioned for the future.”

Panmure members also voted unanimously in May to admit women members for the first time while the same thumbs up was given by members at Royal Aberdeen back in February.

Glasgow Golf Club is also believed to be involved in the same process to change its membership criteria.

The decision to bring down the male-only barriers at Brunstfield Links is likely to put some focus back on Royal Burgess, its neighbour and the oldest golfing society in the world.

The Barnton club scrapped proposals to admit women members just under five years go after less than a third of its membership supported it in a referendum.

Royal Burgess has been a male bastion since its formation in 1735.