The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has voted “overwhelmingly” in favour of welcoming women members.
More than three quarters of the club’s global membership took part in the ballot, with 85% voting for women to become members.
Peter Dawson, secretary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, said it was a “very important and positive day” in the history of the club.
He said: “I am very pleased indeed to announce that the membership of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews has voted overwhelmingly in favour of welcoming women members.
“This vote has immediate effect and I can confirm that The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews is now a mixed membership club.
“The membership has also acted to fast-track a significant initial number of women to become members in the coming months.
“This is a very important and positive day in the history of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.”
Minister for Sport and Equalities Shona Robison welcomed the decision and said it was a “new dawn for golf”.
She said: “In the week before Scotland welcomes golf fans from across the world for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, this decision by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews to admit women members is another step on the road to full equality in sport and society.
“This decision by the world’s most exclusive and prestigious golf club sees real progress towards making golf a more equal sport which is very important.
“I hope this welcome development leads to the few remaining single-gender golf clubs to take a similar path.”