Published: Mon, March 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Tokyo 2020 golf venue votes in favour of admitting female members

Tokyo 2020 golf venue votes in favour of admitting female members

The Kasumigaseki Country Club had previously failed to remove this ban that would not allow women to join or play on Sundays.

The IOC made it clear they would have no trouble finding another venue if the policy remained in place, and the club's board members has acted swiftly to change its membership policy.

Facing an ultimatum, 2020 Olympic golf tournament host Kasumigaseki Country Club has voted to admit female members, satisfying a condition of ending its all-male membership to continue as host of both golf tournaments for the Tokyo games. There is not a lot of honor in inadvertently changing course, but maybe this will shine a light on this issue in the future for other golf clubs around the world.

The Tokyo 2020 golf venue had faced the potential removal of its hosting rights after the International Olympic Committee said it would only go to a club with a non-discriminatory policy.

However, the club has changed its rules following a vote from the executive board, a decision welcomed by the president of the Tokyo 2020 organising committee Yoshiro Mori.

Founded in 1929 as a private club, Kasumigaseki is one of Japan's oldest and most prestigious golf clubs.

Mori also praised the "short period of time" in which the agreement had been reached, but not before the public outcry. After a bit of urging from the International Olympic Committee, they flipped the script.

Tokyo Metropolitan Governor Yuriko Koike, the first woman elected to that post, raised the issue previous year.

The Royal and Ancient (R&A), who organise The Open Championship, had axed Muirfield from their list of venues after members at the club chose to uphold their rules on not allowing women to join.

The IOC president, Thomas Bach, said last week that organisers were prepared to find another location "should gender equality not be respected".

The club's board met February 7 to discuss the matter and then held three meetings with full members to explain the situation and hear their views.

Like this: