Muirfield golf club yet to admit women members one year after ballot

Muirfield voted to admit women members last March - but as yet, none have joined. Picture: Jon Savage
Muirfield voted to admit women members last March - but as yet, none have joined. Picture: Jon Savage
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Famous golf course Muirfield has yet to admit any women members, a year after voting to do so for the first time in its history.

After an initial vote narrowly failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required in May 2016, the R&A immediately announced the East Lothian course would no longer be considered to host the Open Championship.

That decision was reversed when a second ballot in March last year saw members opt to admit women members by 498 votes to 123 in a turnout of more than 90%.

However, change to the make-up of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which owns and runs the course, has not happened quite so quickly.

It is understood it could take up to another two years before the first female member joins Muirfield.

A statement released by the club to Press Association Sport read: “We are very pleased to say that we have had a number of women proposed to be members and the process is well under way.”

Speaking after announcing the result of the second ballot, club captain Henry Fairweather said fast-tracking women was not an option.

“Our members were quite clear that they wanted women to be treated, not in any artificial way, but to go through the same admissions process as men,” he said.

“That means it will take a little time for women to become members.

“We’ve got quite a complicated admissions process and we have a waiting list. They don’t apply, they have to be proposed and seconded by members, but anybody who is interested in becoming a member of Muirfield, I would say: ‘Go for it’.”

After the initial vote rejecting female membership, a plaque “banning” Muirfield members from sitting on a park bench was spotted in Edinburgh city centre.

Placed in West Princes Street Gardens, it read: “The members of Muirfield Golf Club are hereby excluded from sitting on this bench.

“By order of the female population of Edinburgh.”

Pictures of the plaque spread across social media but Edinburgh City Council said it had been stuck on top of an existing plaque and it has since been removed.

Muirfield last staged the Open in 2013 and the earliest it could do so again would be 2022.