Members of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (HCEG), the world’s oldest golf club, have voted in favour of women as Members of the Club.
A two-thirds majority of those who voted was required to make the change that has immediate effect. The result of the postal ballot of members, independently scrutinised by Electoral Reform Services, was 498 votes (80.2%) in favour of change, 123 votes (19.8%) against. 621 votes were counted, a 92.7% turnout. The Club owns and plays at Muirfield.
HCEG Captain, Henry Fairweather said: “This is a significant decision for a Club which was founded in 1744 and retains many of the values and aspirations of its founding Members. We look forward to welcoming women as members who will enjoy, and benefit from, the great traditions and friendly spirit of this remarkable Club”.
Martin Slumbers, Chief Executive of The R&A, 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. 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. Muirfield is a truly outstanding Open venue and we very much look forward to taking the Championship back there in future.”
The current waiting list for membership at Muirfield suggests that new candidates for membership, women and men, can expect to wait two to three years, or longer, to become a Member of the Club.
Muirfield’s position in golf is reflected in the fact that of the current courses that host The Open only the Old Course in St Andrews has staged golf’s oldest Major on more occasions.
Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers www.muirfield.org.uk