R&A launches Women’s Charter

Royal & Ancient Golf Club have released a Women in Golf Charter in the hope of addressing gender equality in in the game.

The games governing body is aiming to increase the number of women playing and working within the golf industry, which is dominated by males.

“Signatories call on everyone involved in golf to play their part in developing a culture that values women’s involvement in every aspect of the sport, from participating to pursuing a career,” reads the charter.

“Our aim is increase the number of women and girls playing and working in golf.

“To achieve this goal and to enable women to flourish throughout golf, we recognise the need for a fundamental shift in culture.

“There is a clear ethical need for change and the potential economic benefits of growing the sport through more women and girls playing are substantial.”

The European, PGA and Ladies European Tours have all committed to the document as have governing bodies of the game throughout Britain.

Golf has had its share of controversy in the past, where Muirfield members once voted against allowing women to become members at the prestigious club. The decision was reversed in another vote in 2017 after the R&A removed the club as a host venue for the Open Championship.

“Doing nothing is not an option,” R&A CEO Martin Slumbers told BBC Sport.

“The majority of golf clubs are struggling because their product is aimed at a target market which is shrinking.

“At best we are flat and that has to change. When you look at raw statistics, it is women who bring children to play not men. It is just such a compulsive story.

“We want to make sure the R&A is modern and relevant to today’s society and we see our overall goal that golf is thriving 50 years from now.”