LONDON (Reuters) - Women could be let in to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, a men-only institution for 260 years, after it was announced on Wednesday members would vote on the thorny subject.
Recognised as the spiritual home of golf, St Andrews has come under increasing fire for excluding women members but things could finally change in September when the club's 2,500 members will decide whether to open its doors to all.
"Members of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, the founding club of The R&A, will vote on a motion to admit women as members," a statement said.
"The Club's committees are strongly in favour of the rule change and are asking members to support it.
"The vote is scheduled to take place in September of this year."
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club has traditionally been the guardian of the rules of the game since 1754, although since 2004 it devolved responsibility for the administration of the game and the Open championship to the newly-formed The R&A.
Last year the R&A was criticised for choosing Muirfield, which has a male-only membership policy, to host the Open championship with Scoland's First Minister Alex Salmond refusing to attend.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Justin Palmer)