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One of Ireland's oldest golf clubs to welcome women members for the first time

Irish Mirror logo Irish Mirror 02/12/2021 Trevor Quinn

One of the oldest and most prestigious golf clubs in Ireland has announced it is moving away from its men-only membership model and welcoming women for the first time.

Founded in 1885, Royal Dublin Golf Club has staged six Irish Opens and has been graced by the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Seve Ballesteros, who won the 1985 event here.

The world class 18 hole links golf course is located on Bull Island, in Dublin Bay and it is Ireland’s second oldest golf club.

The club has never had a woman member previously but that will change after members voted to approve new proposals to welcome the fairer sex at a special general meeting.

In a statement, Royal Dublin said it backs and promotes gender equality for its members.

A spokesman said: “All genders are equally valued within the membership without discrimination and enjoy the same rights and opportunities across all membership categories and the opportunity to apply for membership, when open , is available to all genders.”

It is understood that although Royal Dublin never had a rule that categorically stated that women could not join as members the historical and traditional stance was that it was effectively a men-only club.

The approval of the new proposals were agreed as part of a radical overhaul of the clubs rules and constitution.

And men and women who wish to join as members will now be viewed on a equal basis.

Royal Dublin is the last Irish golf club to take a vote and give the green light and approval to women members, however, no details of how comprehensive the vote was were released.

Last May, Portmarnock Golf Club changed its constitution to end its male-only membership policy and voted to allow female members to join the club for the first time in 127 years.

In that instance, 83.4 per cent of members voted in favour of the rule change. 16.6% voted against.

The old rulebook at the Portmarnock course read: “The club shall consist of members and associate members who shall be gentlemen properly elected and who shall conform with the rules of amateur status.”

That section, Rule 3, was subsequently amended to take out the wording “who shall be gentlemen”.

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