Saitama country club to decide on allowing female members as threat of losing Olympic golf tournament looms

Kyodo

Kasumigaseki Country Club, the embattled venue scheduled to host the Tokyo 2020 Olympic golf tournament, will officially consider changing its rules to make women eligible for full membership, sources said Sunday.

The club’s board of directors were to hold an extraordinary session Monday, when changes to the bylaws will be taken up. The club’s current prohibition on women becoming regular members has drawn harsh criticism at home and abroad and could lead to the course in Saitama Prefecture being replaced as the venue for golf during the Olympics.

A rule change is a possibility despite the necessity of a unanimous vote to do so. According to one official, the main item on Monday’s agenda was to be a summary of opinions from club members.

“After an analysis of opinions, depending on the flow of the deliberations, a policy or conclusion could be reached,” the official said.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach reiterated last week that should gender equality not be respected at the club, another golf venue will be sought out.

The club’s board first met to discuss the issue on Feb. 7, and since then three members meetings have been held for the roughly 1,200 regular members of the prestigious club to air their views.

Scotland’s prestigious Muirfield Golf Club voted last week to allow female members.