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• R&A removes course from the Open Rota
• Decision comes after club reveals it will remain ‘male only’
• “If the policy at the club should change, we would reconsider”


The R&A has wasted no time in removing Muirfield from the Open Rota after the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers voted against allowing women to join the club.

In a statement issued minutes after the club revealed that it had failed to reach the two-thirds majority decision required to let women join, R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said that the organisation will no longer stage the world’s oldest professional golf tournament there so long as it remains ‘male only’

“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,” said Slumbers.

“We will not stage the Championship at a venue that does not admit women as members” – Martin Slumbers, R&A chief executive

“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.”

Muirfield has staged the Open on 16 occasions, most recently in 2013 when Phil Mickelson won the Claret Jug. Only two courses, Prestwick and the Old Course, have hosted the championship more often.

Muirfield: Off the Open Rota

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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