• More than 30 members at Muirfield launched 'no' campaign
• Two-thirds majority is needed - results announced tomorrow
MUIRFIELD | THE R&A
The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers - home to Open host venue Muirfield - could be set to remain a male-only club after a group of members launched a campaign to keep women out.
According to The Scotsman, a letter sent by a 33-strong group of members to canvas against the admittance of women has had a bigger impact than the club’s board had expected, leaving the result of the postal vote in the balance. A two-thirds majority is required to enforce the change, with the outcome expected to be revealed tomorrow.
A letter purporting to be from the objectors and which was sent to club members claims the changes 'should not be done now on the basis suggested', but hinted that they 'may' have to change at some point.
It read: “It is recognised that it is a very sensitive matter and the club is in a difficult position, but associations like ours with a very long and venerable history have strengths which are derived from that history.
“Change must come slowly and for choice should be evolutionary. A traditional resistance to change is one of the foundations of our unique position in golf and our reputation.
“It is accepted that we may have to change, but we should not do so now on the basis suggested. We have had a lengthy process, but it is felt that there is time to pause and consider further options to develop the club and it is hoped retain the Open.
“It is recommended that members vote against the resolution to change our rules to include the admission of lady members.”
Muirfield endured huge negative publicity the last time it held the Open Championship in 2013. Then First Minister Alex Salmond was among many high-profile politicians who opted to boycott attending the event.
Leading women golfers also offered their thoughts. “We’re in the 21st century and it’s about time clubs like Muirfield caught up,” said four-time women’s major winner Laura Davies in 2013. “Women are not second-class citizens any more.”
Yesterday, it was announced that Royal Troon – host of this year’s Open Championship – had written to its 800 members to get the views on the issue of admitting women members.
Muirfield :: Consequences of a 'no' vote
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