2020 Olympic golf club in Japan changes course, approves women members

In the span of a week, two golf clubs that will host big events in the next several years changed their policies on allowing women members. First, Muirfield Golf Club admitted women members last week and was allowed back in the Open Championship rotation. Now, The Kasumigaseki Country Club in Japan has followed suit under threat of removal of the 2020 Olympic Games from its course.

The Kasumigaseki Country Club had previously failed to remove this ban that would not allow women to join or play on Sundays. After a bit of urging from the International Olympic Committee, they flipped the script.

Here is the Associated Press with the official report.

The course that will host the 2020 Olympic golf tournament has avoided being stripped of the event by deciding to change its membership policy to include women.

The Kasumigaseki Country Club said Monday its executive board decided on the change after discussions among its members. The membership policy came under scrutiny when Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike urged it to admit women as full members.

Other critics said the club’s policy was contrary to the spirit of the Olympics. The vote came three days after IOC President Thomas Bach warned the club of consequences for upholding a ban on female members.

“I’d like to extend my gratitude to the members of the club for their understanding and cooperation,” Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, said in a statement.

This was (obviously) the right move for the club which will now get to retain men’s and women’s golf in 2020 when it should be even more successful than it was in 2016.

It’s unfortunate that incidents like this keep popping up as it relates to international golf, but Muirfield and Kasumigaseki both deserve at least a little credit for the about face, even if they were being held over a barrel with political pressure.

You never want to lose an Open or the Olympics, and that is specifically why these two clubs flipped their policies. There is not a lot of honor in inadvertently changing course, but maybe this will shine a light on this issue in the future for other golf clubs around the world.

CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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