After 127 years, Portmarnock Golf Club in north county Dublin will finally eradicate its men-only membership policy. Since its founding in 1894, women have not been allowed to become members but after a majority vote, this will finally change.
A vote was held on Rule 3 which stated, “the club shall consist of members and associate members who shall be gentlemen properly elected and who shall conform with the rules of amateur status”. A majority of 83.4% voted in favour of removing the words “who shall be Gentlemen”.
Staggeringly, 16.6% still voted to retain the ban on women’s membership. It was thought that a majority vote of 51% was needed to abolish the rule.
The golf club previously hosted several championships and Irish Opens since it was founded back in 1894. Since 2003, they were banned from hosting any major tournaments because of their stance on women’s memberships.
Portmarnock have hosted a record of 19 Irish Open Championships and in 2003, €750,000 of public funds was allocated to the club to host the competition despite denying membership to women. It is now anticipated that with their new stance, they will be considered again to host major championships.
Sport Minister, Catherine Martin has welcome to end the men-only membership policy after 127 years. “I welcome this decision and hope women in the community now take up golf and perhaps in future we’ll see even more women go pro,” Martin said on social media.
Finally #PortmarnockGolfClub will admit women!— Catherine Martin TD (@cathmartingreen) May 26, 2021
I welcome this decision and hope women in the community now take up golf and perhaps in future we'll see even more women go pro 💪
Thank you @PGC1894 for taking this progressive step, your club & community will be all the richer. https://t.co/B7U3ewrQtL
While numerous other high-profile golfers have previously expressed their opinion of wanting the rule to change. Back in 2016, Pádraig Harrington said “I am an honorary member of Portmarnock. I don’t have a vote but put it like this, if I had a vote, I would be voting for lady members, absolutely.”