Muirfield regains Open status as club finally overturns men-only policy
Muirfield, the championship golf course in Edinburgh, Scotland, has been reinstated to the list of courses that host the British Open, one of the sport’s four annual ‘majors’, after members of the club today voted in favour of allowing women to become members.
Just over 80 per cent of the 621 voting members voted in favour of the change in membership policy.
It was the second time in two years that the club has held the vote, after the first ballot in May last year failed to reach the two-thirds majority that was required, forcing the R&A, organisers of the Open, to remove the course from the list of possible hosts.
Following the announcement, Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the R&A, confirmed that the course will be eligible to host the Open again.
He said: “In light of today’s decision by the Honourable Company we can confirm that Muirfield will become a venue for The Open once again.”
Slumbers continued: “Muirfield has a long and important history of hosting The Open and with today’s announcement that will continue. It is extremely important for us in staging one of the world’s great sporting events that women can become members at all of our host clubs.”
The R&A itself opened its membership to women for the first time in 2014.
Muirfield, which has staged the Open 16 times, last hosted the event in 2013, but had not yet been slated to host another edition. Last year’s venue, Royal Troon, voted in favour of admitting women members in July, just before the start of the tournament.
This year’s British Open is taking place at the Royal Birkdale course in England from 20 to 23 July.