• Also expects it to have an impact on the local area
• "For some members, it’s not a blow to lose the Open"
MUIRFIELD | THE R&A
The secretary of Muirfield Golf Club has called the decision by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers to refuse to admit women to the East Lothian club as a ‘blow to the club, local community, and Scotland’.
Muirfield was immediately struck off the Open rota following the announcement earlier this morning that the two-thirds majority needed to admit women hadn’t been successful.
In total, 397 (64%) of the club’s 616 members voted ‘for’ the admittance of women, falling 14 votes short of what was needed to pass the motion.
And Stuart McEwen, secretary of Muirfield Golf Club for the past three years, conceded that the consequences of the decision were disappointing but not at all surprising.
“We expected that the R&A would probably make that decision and we communicated that the best we could to our membership,” he said. “It’s disappointing for the club but it’s not a great shock. For some members, it’s not a blow to lose the Open and they’ve said that – but that doesn’t represent the majority.
“The club has a well-documented history of hosting the Open Championship and so many people get involved in volunteering and the local community benefits hugely because of the Open. The fact that the course may not host an Open Championship in the near future is a blow for the club, the local community and Scotland.”
Read more -> Muirfield should be 'entirely excluded'
While the R&A immediately removed Muirfield as an Open Championship course, according to the club, there are no plans to shift the Boys Amateur Championship in August, which takes place over Muirfield and The Renaissance.
“We’re looking forward to another successful championship,” he said. “Yes, it’s still going ahead. We had a meeting with the R&A last week about the planning of that and it wasn’t dependent on the vote.
And as for Scottish Golf, which hosted the Scottish Amateur Championship at Muirfield last year, the club hopes to maintain the good relationship it has with them.
“They might and that’s a decision that’s up to them. We’ve got a good relationship with Scottish Golf – have done for many years – and we hope that it will continue.”
In response, Scottish Golf said it was still to decide on its future involvement with Muirfield.
Read more -> How Twitter reacted to Muirfield 'No' vote
“We are disappointed with today’s decision from The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield.
"We take some encouragement from the clear majority in favour of women members and hope that those who voted for change continue to make the case for the modernisation of their club.
“The Scottish Golf Board is meeting next week when the implications of this decision will be considered.”
Muirfield :: Your thoughts
Share your thoughts on the news that Muirfield is off the Open Rota in our ‘Comments’ section below.