Monday 11 December 2017

It's 2017 and, finally, women members can now join Muirfield Golf Club

Muirfield Golf Club
Muirfield Golf Club

Women members will be admitted to Muirfield, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers has announced.

The result of a second ballot on admitting women members at Muirfield took place today and the 'yes' vote means the course will return to the Open Championship rota.

After the first vote narrowly failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required in May last year, the R&A immediately announced that the East Lothian course would no longer be considered to host the Open.

Here is a look at other clubs which have made the same move in recent years:

AUGUSTA NATIONAL

Former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and business executive Darla Moore became Augusta National's first female members in August 2012, almost a decade after activist Martha Burk stepped up pressure on the club to admit women, to which then chairman Hootie Johnson responded that they would not be forced to change "at the point of a bayonet".

ROYAL AND ANCIENT GOLF CLUB OF ST ANDREWS

The club voted overwhelmingly in September 2014 to end its male-only membership policy after 260 years. More than three quarters of the club's 2,400 members took part in the ballot, with 85 per cent voting to allow women members. Club secretary Peter Dawson said at the time the move was not intended to place pressure on male-only clubs on the Open Championship rota, namely Muirfield, Royal Troon and Royal St George's.

ROYAL ST GEORGE'S

Despite what Dawson said, it did not take long for Royal St George's to change its membership policy, with the club announcing in March 2015 that more than 81 per cent of its members had taken part in a ballot on admitting women members, with 90 per cent in favour. It was announced in February that the club will host the 2020 Open Championship.

ROYAL TROON

Royal Troon always disputed being labelled a "male-only" club as it shares facilities with the Ladies Golf Club, Troon and initially maintained that a review of membership policy would not be resolved until the "back end" of 2016. However, in an apparent reaction to Muirfield being stripped of the right to host the Open in May, the South Ayrshire club brought forward its own ballot to before it staged the Open and voted "overwhelmingly" in favour of women members.

More to follow...

Press Association

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport