An open letter to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club


Dear Sirs,

We are writing in light of the news that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club is poised to take a historic step on 18 September as it moves to a vote on the inclusion of women as members. This is a defining moment for the Club itself, for the game of golf, and for the community of St Andrews.

Female students make up 56 per cent of the undergraduate population at the University. We are privileged to study at an institution led into its seventh century by Principal Richardson, a leading expert in her field and St Andrews’ first female principal. In the past few years, we have seen a great deal of movement on gender equality within our student body, and are delighted to be part of a society-wide trend in this direction.

The town of St Andrews lies at a unique confluence of histories; it has been the domicile of royalty and clergy, as well as generations of students and townspeople. This place has also been home and host to countless legends of the noble game invented here. Golf is the town’s lifeblood. As St Andreans, we live and breathe tradition; however, we are also – as our history has proved to us – a place of innovation.

We firmly believe that it is the responsibility of all members of this community to guide the institutions we inherit into the 21st century. We hope that the Royal and Ancient Golf Club shares this philosophy. It is our sincere request that you will cast your votes in September with these thoughts in mind, and come to the decision that it is time to bring the club’s admission policy into step with its respected status in the sporting world. We humbly wish to express our support of Professor Richardson on this matter, and to add our voice to those calling for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club to reconsider its discriminatory men-only policy.

Yours sincerely,

The Feminist Society of the University of St Andrews


Ali West
Stina Wassèn
Jakob Dowling
Lin Mortensgaard
Sammy Evans
Eva Wewiorski
Jo Boon
Aimee Shah
Lucy Gallard
Lauren Hossack
Ane Singleton


  1. An open letter to this entire situation:

    Dear those in search for ‘equality’,

    What benefit at all comes from the R and A changing their admissions policy? All it does is allow Richardson to perpetuate her self obsessed PR campaign, serving to bolster her public perception as a modern day heroine (ultimately leading her to a better payed job). Its all very transparent.

    Whilst i don’t think the Feminist society’s thoughts and concerns are transparent at all and can see the genuine benefit of such an attitude towards equality in the modern world, the menial rewording of a constitution does nothing more than tarnish centuries of history and tradition.

    Let them have their boys club. Who cares? it doesn’t effect anything other than Louise Richardson’s wounded ego because she can’t take someone to lunch there? What a pathetic reason. Clearly its a case of a damaged ego that a woman of her stature would be denied to dine at one of the most infamous institutions in our town. How will she ever get her cucumber sandwiches? Why can’t she get on with real issues that effect the university as a whole, not just wining and dining some rich Texan that she needs to impress in order to spend another £4,000,000 on redecorating…

    Is nothing sacred?

    The day i see Louise Richardson teeing off on the old course with the president of the St Andrews Feminist Society will be the day i join the campaign for equal membership. Even if they slice it straight into the sea. Until that day, leave them alone please and stop badgering us with these needless publicity stunts.

    Yours Sincerely

    The person that says what everyone’s thinking.

    • Don’t be silly! These feminists obviously care about centuries of history and tradition. That’s the reason why you never hear them complain about the way certain religions treat women. You know, the religions that blatantly treat women as inferior by telling them what they can do (or what they can’t do), what they can wear, and who they can marry.

  2. Dear Fem Soc.

    It is unlikely that we will take your letter into consideration upon voting. Firstly, you’re actually irrelevant in the grand scheme of guiding 21st century institutions. Sometimes tradition and innovation cannot be simultaneously breathed – so just accept the R&A as a defining pillar of St Andrews’ identity and go whine a faint spotlight onto something else that doesn’t need your angle. Secondly, we want to play Transformers in our clubhouse and we would feel uncomfortable with you and your barbies coming in and spoiling our long tradition of fun.
    Cheers m’dears

  3. I’m really REALLY disappointed in the replies posted here. How on earth could a vote saying that women are allowed to join the club be a bad thing? I think it’s shocking that they’re not allowed already, so good on Fem Soc for actually doing something about it. What’s wrong with asking that anyone who wants to join can? I do actually agree that Richardson is probably backing this for the wrong reasons – but that doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t. The fact that she’s the first female principal at St Andrews shows how behind the times the Uni is, and how much it still needs to promote equality. I’m genuinely disgusted by the replies that have been posted on here so far.

    • Thanks graduate – really interesting stuff you expressed above … v. easy to say something is ‘behind the times’ for not having a woman at the head of it, the to look around and see the nods and noises of assent from like-minded political correct… take your disgust somewhere else, no one cares . . . moral high horses REALLY are oh-so-boring, and heaven forbid this wonderful future utopia of equality is too heavily fraught with the relentless drone of those who promote it so tirelessly


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.