Olympic golf venue delays vote to end female ban

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Officials at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Japan have opted to postpone a vote that might see the 2020 Olympic golf host allow women members for the first time.

According to a Reuters report, the club "failed to reach a decision" Tuesday about ending the ban, with the head of its board of directors terming controversy over the subject a "nuisance." Kasumigaseki allows women to play the course Monday to Saturday, but does not allow women on the course on Sunday and boasts an all-male membership.

The situation has caught the eye of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee, which last week reportedly sent a letter to club officials asking them to "reconsider" their membership regulations.

According to the report, the ban on women members would only be considered following a unanimous vote from the 15-member board of directors.

International Golf Federation vice president Ty Votaw also indicated that the ban could threaten Kasumigaseki's standing as host site in four years' time.

"If the club does not change its rules, then we cannot support holding the events at this venue," Votaw told Golf.com.

The situation marks the second time in as many years that a notable course has come under fire for its all-male membership. Last year Muirfield was removed from the Open rota after a vote to allow women members failed to receive the support of two-thirds of its members.