A PRESTIGIOUS women’s golf tournament is to continue being staged at Royal Burgess despite the Edinburgh club refusing to bring down its men-only barriers.
The Midlothian Ladies’ Champion of Champions event has been held for around 40 years at Royal Burgess, where a vote was held just over a year ago on admitting women members.
Less than a third of the male membership voted in favour of the proposal, which resulted in the suitability of Royal Burgess continuing to stage the champions’ event being raised at the annual general meeting of the Midlothian County Ladies’ Golf Association. However, a proposal to move the tournament received only three votes so it will be held at the same venue again later this year.
“A proposal was brought to the AGM ‘to reconsider the venue to host the final of the Midlothian Champion of Champions, and propose future finals are played at Midlothian clubs where both men and women are full and equal members’ by one of our members and seconded by another,” said MCLGA president Tracy Laughland.
Referring to former Midlothian captain and one-time LGU chairman, she added: “Gillian Kirkwood addressed the floor first, detailing the history of the event, how and why it had come to be held at Royal Burgess etc. Louise Fraser then spoke, very passionately, from a previous champion’s point of view.
“Things that were brought up included the course being totally neutral and, therefore, offering a fair final, a good challenge to the low handicap finalists, a good incentive to make it to the final of the competition (ie not many ladies get the opportunity to play on the Burgess).
“In addition, we are always treated very well when we go there, we are offered courtesy of the course, the finalists are offered a courtesy practice round with whoever they care to take along with them and many more points.
“It was finally put to the vote with only three voting in favour of the proposal and the rest of those in attendance at the AGM rejecting it and voting to stay with the status quo.”
A statement on the MCLGA website added: “It was good to have this topic aired at an AGM and the members made aware of the reasons for continuing at the Burgess.”
Since the Royal Burgess vote, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has granted membership to women for the first time in its 260-year history. The three men-only clubs on the Open rota, including Muirfield, are also undertaking reviews.