Published: Nov 14, 2011 7:06 PM EST
Updated: Nov 15, 2011 7:30 AM EST

LONDON (AP) - Members of England's male and female amateur golf associations will vote Wednesday on whether to merge into a single governing body to address a decline in club memberships.

The male-run English Golf Union and the English Women's Golf Association have written a joint document which expresses concerns that the segregation of men and women was "increasingly out of step with people's expectations."

The two associations believe "the negative perception of golf being a divided game and not welcoming to all will be reinforced" if members vote against the merger.

John Petrie, chief executive of the EGU, says the decision will be "vital for the future of golf."