The clubhouse of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, with the 18th green and the first tee on the Old Course at St Andrews venue for The Open Championship in 2015, on July 29, 2014 in St Andrews, Scotland
David Cannon—Getty Images
By Eliana Dockterman
September 18, 2014

On the same day Scotland voted on independence from the United Kingdom, a golf club there considered one of the most prestigious in the world voted to allow women to join, 260 years after its founding.

Dubbed “the home of golf,” the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews has helped set the rules of golf through the modern era, but women were forbidden in the clubhouse until today. A total of 85% of the 2,500 worldwide members said yes to becoming mixed gender, Secretary of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club Peter Dawson announced in a statement.

Women could not even dine as guests at the club, a rule which barred many women at the University of St. Andrews from important meetings.

The list of women who will likely join the the Royal and Ancient immediately includes USGA president Judy Bell and St. Andrews University principal Louise Richardson.

The change comes just two years after Augusta National, the club that hosts the Masters, invited women onto its courses for the first time. Three all-male clubs remain on the British Open schedule: Royal St. George’s, Royal Troon and Muirfield.

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