Despite the progress made at Augusta National earlier this year, at least one notable club has chosen to continue its current policy preventing female members.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Butler National Golf Club recently held a vote – the first of its kind for the club – and decided overwhelmingly to keep its membership closed to women. Located in the suburbs of Chicago, the course has been mentioned as a viable host for the U.S. Open or BMW Championship, but remains ineligible unless and until it changes its admissions policy.
According to the report, even if guaranteed to host a major tournament, only 40 percent of the members were in favor of admitting women. Seventy-five percent of the vote was required to change the club's existing policy.
With membership in decline partially due to the club's all-male stigma, the Tribune report indicates that the club now finds itself at a financial crossroads. Moving forward, Butler National executives may be forced to increase annual dues or lower initiation fees in order to generate revenue.
'We're in a death spiral,' said one club member, according to the report.
Ranked 54th on Golf Digest's list of 'America's 100 Greatest Golf Courses,' Butler National played host to the Western Open from 1974-1990. Following the 1990 PGA Championship at Shoal Creek though, the U.S. Golf Association, PGA Tour and PGA of America all required non-discriminatory admissions practices from host venues, resulting in the tournament's move to nearby Cog Hill.