An unbylined Reuters report says members at Kasumigaseki met, debated and postponed a vote on admitting female members. With the course set to host men's and women's Olympic golf, the club's barring of women on Sundays gives, to put it mildly, a poor impression.
Not helpful was this quote from club board chairman Kiichi Kimura:
"That this situation has developed is a nuisance for us, it's really perplexing," he said.
Given that the club's 15-member board must vote unanimously on a rule change, the prospects do not look great for a change that would appease the IOC.
The International Golf Federation, charged with selecting the venues and shaping the competition for the IOC, has issued its first threat to move the competition.
Pete Madden, reporting for Golf.com, the comments of Ty Votaw, IGF vice president:
“The IGF has clearly stated to both Tokyo 2020 and Kasumigaseki C.C. our requirements that the golf competition be delivered according to the Olympic Charter,” he said. “If the Club does not change its rules, then we cannot support holding the events at this venue.”
Options are limited for the IOC and IGF, but given the club's stance, a switch may be necessary to avoid further embarrassment for golf.
The Japan Golf Council is pushing for a centrally-located but space-deprived course closer to the city called Wakasu.