Panmure has become the second Scottish golf club this year to end its men-only membership policy, joining Royal Aberdeen in making that move in the countdown to the Open Championship at nearby Carnoustie in July.
A proposal to admit women members was passed unanimously at Panmure’s annual general meeting, with the male-only status disappearing with immediate effect at a club that was established in 1845.
“Like other golf clubs, we are trying to be forward-thinking and also family friendly, so we are delighted about this exciting development, having worked hard over the past 18 to 24 months to get members onside,” said club captain Jim Wallace.
Through a separate ladies’ club, women already have access to the course, which hosted qualifying for the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Carnoustie in 2011 and also staged the Girls’ Home Internationals three years earlier.
However, the club’s old status was clearly illustrated by a sign that informed women that they were prohibited from accessing the clubhouse through the main door and had to use an alternative entrance.
“That sign was unfortunate,” admitted Wallace, “and, of course, that will not be the case any more. Women are free from today to apply to become full members and we are confident that they will do so over time.”
Members at Royal Aberdeen, where a similar separate ladies’ club exists, voted in favour of ending its men-only policy in February. That decision paved the way for it to remain as one of the country’s foremost tournament venues outside the courses on the Open Championship rota and now Panmure, which is currently one of the regional qualifying venues for the Open Championship, has done likewise.
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.
Bruntsfield Links, the fourth oldest golf club in the world, could be next to join that list, with Glasgow Golf Club also believed to be involved in the same process to change its membership criteria.