The historic Scottish course was denied hosting the Britain’s Open championship by the R&A last year due to its all-male policy, which now has been overturned after the club voted to accept female members on Tuesday March 14.
Members at the privately-owned club voted 80.2% in favour of changing their membership policy, allowing women to become full members for the first time in history.
Tournament organiser R&A announced last year that they would not allow a venue that didn’t admit women as members to stage The Open. However, the R&A also stated that in case Murifield updated its policy and brought it into line with other Open course, it would be re-considered in the future.
“In light of today’s decision by the Honourable Company we can confirm that Muirfield will become a venue for The Open once again,” Martin Slumbers, chief executive of the Royal and Ancient, said in a statement.
“Muirfield has a long and important history of hosting The Open and with today’s announcement that will continue … We very much look forward to taking the Championship back there in future.”
Muirfield Golf Club has hosted the Open 16 times, most recently in 2013 when it was won by American Phil Mickelson.
Photo Credit: Andrew Milligan
Scottish golf club Muirfield has lost its right to host the Open Championship after voting against allowing female member to join the club.
The R&A confirmed today that they “will not stage the Championship at a venue that does not admit women as members”, and has removed the famous club, which most recently hosted the tournament in 2013, from the tournament’s rota.
During a recent vote, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers failed to reach the two-thirds majority needed to include female members for the first time in its 272-year history, the club announced Thursday.
Chief executive of the R&A, Martin Slumbers, released a statement saying Muirfield would not host the Open unless its members had a change of heart.
“We have consistently said that it is a matter for the Honourable Company to conduct a review of its membership policy and that we would await their decision,” Slumbers said.
“The R&A has considered today’s decision with respect to The Open Championship. The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events and going forward we will not stage the Championship at a venue that does not admit women as members,”
“Given the schedule for staging The Open, it would be some years before Muirfield would have been considered to host the Championship again. If the policy at the club should change we would reconsider Muirfield as a venue for The Open in future,” the statement continued.
The Scotsman reported earlier this week that a Muirfield member syndicate had contacted others at the club in attempt to sway them to reject the proposed policy changes.
Murifield’s Club captain Henry Fairweather released a statement saying “The Honourable Company is a members club, and, as such, the members decide the Rules of the Club, including its membership policy. Women will continue to be welcome at Muirfield on the course and in the clubhouse as guests and visitors, as they have been for many years.”
The Royal Troon, this year’s Open host club, is the only other club on the British Open rota to refuse female members, however, Troon recently consulted members to abolish the aged policy.
Muirfield has hosted 16 British Opens, the first in 1892.