Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Second Muirfield ballot on female golf club members

Muirfield Image copyright SNS

A second ballot is being held at Muirfield golf club on whether to admit female members.

A previous vote at the privately-owned links course fell short of the majority required to change membership policy.

Muirfield, which last hosted the Open Championship in 2013, was later told by golf's ruling body the R&A that it would no longer be considered as a host venue.

A result on the second vote is expected by the middle of March.

Motions require two-thirds of its eligible voters to back the move. Only 64% previously voted in favour.

Club policy

A press release issued on behalf of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which owns and runs Muirfield, said: "The postal ballot will be independently scrutinised and the outcome is expected to be announced in mid-March 2017.

"Voting in favour of the resolution to admit women as Members is recommended, unanimously, by the captain, captain nominate and the club committee of the Honourable Company."

Martin Slumbers, R&A chief executive, said: "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 16 times and produced a who's who of champions, including Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Nick Faldo (twice), Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson.

Speaking after the first vote, former Open champion Rory McIlroy said: "They (Muirfield) can do what they want, but in this day and age it's not right to host the world's biggest tournament at a place that does not allow women to become members.

"Hopefully they can see some sense and we can get it back there one day."

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