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The world’s oldest golf club has voted to allow women to become members for the first time in its history.

Members of the Royal Burgess Golfing Society in Edinburgh – which was formed in 1735 – overwhelmingly passed the resolution at the club’s AGM last night. 

The vote was backed by 83% of members and will come into effect from April 1. 

The news was confirmed by general manager Graham Callander earlier today.

“As the world’s oldest golf club, the Society enjoys a position of leadership in Scottish and world golf, including the promotion of golf at junior level,” he said. “The Society looks forward to welcoming an open and diverse membership, affording everyone the chance to be part of its ongoing success.

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“The history of the Club and that of the City of Edinburgh are woven together. The Society believes that a more open membership will enhance and strengthen the Club’s proud relationship with the city.”

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He added: “This historic decision demonstrates the Club’s recognition of the importance of embracing equality. We look forward to welcoming many new members over the coming years and to share what our fine Society has to offer with them.”

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Royal Burgess follows fellow capital club Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society in opening its application process to women. Bruntsfield made the move in 2018. 

Last summer, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers began admitting female members after changing its own membership rules in 2017.  


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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

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