Women will be allowed to compete along with men in an elite amateur golf tournament for the first time in 60 years.
The Berkhamsted Trophy in Hertfordshire has been one of amateur golf's foremost men's events for decades. Previous winners include Sandy Lyle, who picked up the trophy in 1977 and went on to become an Open and US Masters champion, and European Tour winner Luke Donald.
It is now setting a new precedent in the golf world by becoming the first long established amateur event to invite female players to play when the 61st tournament is next held on from April 2 to April 4.
The decision was made after golfing bodies, the English Golf Union and The R&A approached Berkhamsted Golf club, which run the tournament, to change the rules as part of a plan to further integrate women into golf.
John Clarke, head professional at the club, said: "Golf clubs and golf have to change with the times. The big incentive is to get everyone to play together."
Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A, told the BBC: "We are supportive of initiatives, such as this by Berkhamsted.
"The R&A's Women in Golf Charter is a call to action for everyone involved in golf, from national associations to clubs, to do more to attract women and girls to take up this wonderful sport.
"There are many different ways in which this can be achieved."
<br> Invites to take part in the tournament have been sent to elite women golfers with a handicap of one or better. The event gives competitors the chance to earn World Amateur Golf Ranking points and cash prize of £500.
Nigel Edwards, England Golf Performance Director and Team GB leader in the 2020 Olympics, said: "As the country's governing body for male and female amateur golfers, at England Golf we are delighted to support Berkhamsted Golf Club's forward-thinking initiative in making the prestigious Berkhamsted Trophy a mixed gender event."
The club has a tradition of integrating women into the game and became one of the first club's in the country to have a lady captain.
One of its female members Alice Hewson made history last year when she became the first Englishwoman to play a competitive round at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur in the US.
European Tour winners Tom Lewis, Andy Sullivan and Carl Mason have also won the event before embarking on a successful professional careers.