Sun, May 13, 2018 - Page 11 News List

Tokyo 2020 venue grants women membership rights

Reuters, TOKYO

The club scheduled to stage the golf tournament during the 2020 Tokyo Games has granted three women full memberships after being warned that it could be stripped as an Olympic host if it does not change its discriminatory policy.

The Kasumigaseki Country Club in March last year scrapped its male-only membership after the International Olympic Committee said it would find another venue if the policy remained.

The club on Friday said that it had granted three women equal membership rights as their male counterparts for the first time in four decades.

Until the rule change, Kasumigaseki allowed women to play at the course, but they were not allowed to become full members or play on certain Sundays.

The Saitama venue is scheduled to host both men’s and women’s tournaments in July and August 2020.

Tokyo 2020 organizers said they were delighted with the change in policy.

“We appreciate the significant efforts the club’s leadership and members made last year to amend the club’s membership policy in keeping with the spirit of the Olympic charter,” Tokyo 2020 spokesman Masa Takaya said.

Several notable golf clubs have changed their policies to allow female members in recent years.

In 2014, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews decided to allow women to join following 260 years of exclusion.

Earlier this year, Muirfield voted to admit women members, scrapping a policy that led to the historic Scottish links course being stripped of its eligibility to host the British Open.

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