LONDON (AFP) - The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews on Thursday voted to allow women members for the first time in its 260-year history.
The R&A's 2,400 members were allowed to take part in the vote, which was passed by a margin of 85 per cent in favour to 15 per cent against.
"This is a very important and positive day in the history of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club," chief executive Peter Dawson said.
"The R&A has served the sport of golf well for 260 years and I am confident that the club will continue to do so in future with the support of all its members, both women and men."
Dawson added that the decision will take place with immediate effect and a "significant" initial number of women will be fast-tracked to membership in the coming months to avoid the long waiting list.