Muirfield to hold fresh membership ballot

2016 06 Muirfield
• Muirfield to hold fresh ballot on admitting women members
• The postal ballot will be conducted by the end of the year
• Captain hopes  vote can help repair 'damaged reputation'


The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers will hold a fresh ballot on admitting women as members of the club at Muirfield by the end of this year.

Six weeks ago, the club announced in front of national media that it had failed to reach the two-thirds majority required for change, with 64% (14 votes short) in favour of the resolution and 36% against.

As a result, Muirfield was immediately struck off the Open rota by the R&A, with chief Martin Slumbers saying: “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.”



The fallout continued in the days and weeks afterwards and, in a statement released by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers today, captain Henry Fairweather believes a different result this time around can help begin restore the club’s damaged reputation.

“A substantial majority of our members voted for change and many have voiced their disappointment with the ballot result and with subsequent events,” said club captain at Muirfield, Henry Fairweather.

“The club committee believes that a clear and decisive vote in favour of admitting women as members is required to enable us to begin the task of restoring the reputation of the club that has been damaged by the earlier ballot outcome”.

The club committee will now seek authority from the membership, at a special general meeting, to hold a fresh postal ballot before the end of the year.



In response to news of the second postal ballot, a statement from South Moor Golf Club in County Durham called on the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers to make a better decision this time around.

"Please be kind enough to point out to the members holding you back at Muirfield that their stance is reducing participation in the greatest sport ever played. They are responsible for sending out an unwelcoming message world wide which stereotypes golf clubs and deters half the population from taking up the sport.

"The knock-on effect of that is to threaten the future of less well heeled community clubs such as ours. The less golfers there are to go round us all, the harder it becomes to stay in business." Comment

“This is an encouraging, if somewhat surprising, development. A decision to welcome women - albeit at the second time of asking - at Muirfield would send a clear message that golf is, as those of us who know it best can confirm, an inclusive sport for all, irrespective of age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, wealth and more. That is the reality, but it’s a hard message to push when archaic, misrepresentative division still exists in some high-profile areas of the sport. A different outcome this time around would also surely result in Muirfield’s reinstatement to the Open rota, which would be of an enormous benefit to local businesses in East Lothian. You have to assume that the decision is all but made. Why else, after all, would they hold a second vote so soon after the first? However, in case any member of the club is still undecided and is reading this, I would say this: don’t resist evolution. You’ll only get left behind… and you’ll take many of us with you, against our will.”
Michael McEwan • Assistant Editor, bunkered

Muirfield :: Second postal ballot

What do you make of Muirfield’s decision to host a second postal ballot on admitting women members? Leave your thoughts in the ‘Comments’ section below.

Share this Article

twitter-logo facebook-logo

Latest Videos See all videos right arrow

play button
play button
I TEST JON RAHM’S NEW IRONS! – Callaway Apex TCB review
play button
Top 5 tips to help you conquer the MENTAL game
mental game
play button
PUTTER BATTLE! – Three of the best 2021 models compared
taylormade putters 2021
See all videos right arrow

Golf News

Phil Mickelson accepts special invite to US Open
OCEANTEE and PGA agree bold new partnership
US PGA 2021: Where and when to watch it on TV in the UK
Golf club withdraws player from competition for being too YOUNG!
St Andrews Links Trust chief executive standing down

Other Top Stories

Tiger Woods: Inside his $41million Florida mansion
The very best pubs in St Andrews
The Scottish Golf Course Emoji Quiz!
24 lies every bad golfer tells
Doug Sanders: The extraordinary life of golf's original playboy

Quick Fault 'n' Fixes See all videos right arrow

play button
Lengthen your backswing for more power
play button
Denis Pugh’s takeaway tips
play button
Fix your slice with Denis Pugh
play button
A bad grip will lead to bad swings
See all videos right arrow