Muirfield FINALLY invites women members for first time in 275-YEAR history in a bid to put an end to sexism row at the world’s oldest golf club
- Muirfield golf club has invited 12 women to become members for the first time
- The world’s oldest golf club has been embroiled in a long-standing sexism row
- It is the first time in their 275-year history that women will be allowed to join
- Muirfield was removed from The Open’s course rota after sexism controversy
- Decision comes as the R&A begin discussions over the venue for the 2023 Open
With exquisite timing, the self-proclaimed Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers — Muirfield, to you and me — has formally announced that it has invited 12 female members to join, beginning on Monday.
Is it pure coincidence that the announcement comes just as the R&A are getting down to seriously discussing the venue for the 2023 Open?
Without this radical change of policy — the first time in 275 years the club has allowed women members — there wouldn’t have been a chance of getting the nod
Muirfield golf club has invited 12 women to become members for the first time in their history
Now, you can almost take it as read that the contentious venue, suspended from the Open rota in 2016 after voting to keep women out, and then reinstated following a more positive outcome to update its membership rules in 2017, will be the host in 2023 for the first time in a decade.
This move also comes just in time to save R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers — who has proved a welcome advocate in promoting a more progressive sport — from having to tackle questions on the subject at next month’s Open at Royal Portrush.
So, a mere two years after the ballot that made headlines around the world, it is finally coming to fruition.
Muirfield, which has hosted 16 Opens, has been embroiled in a long-standing sexism row
Phil Mickelson was the champion in 2013 when Muirfield last hosted The Open
Club captain Alistair Campbell said: ‘This marks a milestone in the club’s illustrious history. We look forward to welcoming all our new members to share in the great values and traditions of our club.’
The not-so-great values were the ones making all the headlines in 2013, when it became clear that Muirfield couldn’t possibly host another Open without a change in its exclusionary policy.
Despite glorious weather the overall attendance was down considerably on the numbers expected, with the men-only membership issue making unsavoury headlines for the game’s governing body.