Muirfield: New women members vote opens

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Members of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers have started voting in a fresh ballot on the admission of women members at Muirfield, with the outcome expected next month.

The resolution to admit women has been unanimously backed by the East Lothian club’s captain, captain nominate and committee and comes nine months after the first postal ballot failed to gain the two-thirds majority needed to change its rules.

The outcome is expected to be announced in mid-March 2017

- HCEG statement

“The postal ballot will be independently scrutinised and the outcome is expected to be announced in mid-March 2017,” read an Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers statement.

“A vote last year on a resolution to admit women as members narrowly failed to achieve the two-thirds majority required to change club rules.”

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Back in May 2016, captain Henry Fairweather (above) stood outside the clubhouse and revealed that 397 (64%) of the club’s 616 members voted ‘for’ women members, falling 14 votes short of what was needed to pass the motion.

The club endured a wave of negative publicity in the hours and days that followed, with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon branding the decision ‘indefensible’.

We will not stage the Championship at a venue that does not admit women as members

- Martin Slumbers

Muirfield was also immediately stripped of its place on the Open Championship rota, with the move prompting 2016 Open venue Royal Troon to pass through a vote to admit women members prior to the event.

“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,” said Martin Slumbers, chief executive of The R&A.

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