First time in history female members allowed
Club voted against allowing women members in 2016
Held fresh ballot after losing right to stage British Open
It had been widely criticized for its male-only membership policy, and lost the British Open golf tournament as a result, but now Muirfield has voted to admit women for the first time in its long history.
They finally voted to accept women as members, but Rory McIlroy says the need for Muirfield golfers to have a second ballot on the issue was “obscene” and “horrendous.”
In a fresh ballot, 80.2% of members at the privately owned Scottish golf club, founded in 1744, opted to accept female members, overturning a previous vote held less than 12 months ago.
The R&A, the organizer of the Open Championship, moved quickly to reinstate Muirfield on the Open rota after it was removed in 2016.
Responding to Tuesday’s announcement, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Well done, Muirfield – decision to admit women members emphatic and the right one. Look forward to seeing you host the Open again in future.”
The result of last May’s vote caused a storm, with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling the decision “indefensible.”
Responding to Tuesday’s announcement, Sturgeon tweeted: “Well done, Muirfield – decision to admit women members emphatic and the right one. Look forward to seeing you host the Open again in future.”
Women face a two-year wait
With a two-thirds majority needed to overturn the club’s male-only stance, club captain Henry Fairweather said 498 votes had been returned in favor of admitting women, with 123 votes against.
The turnout was reported to be 92.7%.
“We look forward to welcoming women as members who will enjoy, and benefit, from the great traditions and friendly spirit of this remarkable club,” said Fairweather.