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In Other Historic Vote, Scotland Golf Club Admits Women

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And while the world waits for the results of the Scottish independent referendum, the final tally of another Scottish vote is in. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has voted overwhelmingly to allow female members. The club helped shape the game as we know it today. And as Doug Tribou of NPR's Only a Game reports, this vote was a long time coming.

DOUG TRIBOU, BYLINE: For the first time since it was founded in 1754, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club is a mixed-membership club. The vote was 85 percent in favor of admitting women. All of the golf courses in the town of St. Andrews are public and can be played by women and men. But women have never been allowed to be members of the Royal and Ancient and couldn't even enter its clubhouse as guests. Golf historian and fifth- generation St. Andrews resident David Joy says the vote shows how much the mindset of the club has changed.

DAVID JOY: Yeah, I mean, there's probably another 15 percent of members who are still the old fuddy-duddies - the old chaps in their tweed suits going no. No, we don't want to do that. If you'd had a vote 20 years ago, you'd probably said it was 85 percent of the old guys and 15 percent would have said yes.

TRIBOU: Members also moved to fast-track the first group of female candidates in the coming months. The club has said the first women to join will be significant figures in the game of golf. For NPR News, I'm Doug Tribou. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.