Muirfield Votes To Allow Female Members

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers has voted to allow female members for the first time

Women Members At Muirfield
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers Has finally voted to admit women members following a new vote of their members

Muirfield Votes To Allow Female Members

Muirfield has voted to allow female members at the club for the first time - over 80% of members have voted to allow female members, well above the two-thirds required.

The club had a vote in 2016 but narrowly failed to secure the two-thirds majority required to change club rules.

Following the news there was further good news for the Scottish club.

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Muirfield had lost its place on the Open rota due to the no female members policy, and the club will now be hoping that it will now find its place back on the rota - Phil Mickelson triumphed at Muirfield back in 2013.

Check out Muirfield's 1st hole below

 

The Timeline of the Vote

  • The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers membership policy has been under review since the enactment of the Equality Act in 2010.
  • A membership engagement process commencing in 2013 was facilitated by a leading firm of stakeholder research consultants who specialise in working with not-for-profit organisations. The final outcome of this work was an independently scrutinised postal ballot of the Club membership on a resolution to admit women as Members.
  • The resolution was recommended for acceptance by the Club Committee, on 19 May 2016, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers announced that a resolution to admit women as Members of the Club had failed to reach the two-thirds majority required to change Club Rules. The ballot recorded a vote of 64% in favour of the resolution and 36% against.
  • In a statement six weeks later, on 27 June 2016, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers announced its intention to conduct a fresh ballot of its membership on admitting women as Members of the Club.
  • HCEG Captain, Henry Fairweather said: “A substantial majority of our members voted for change and many have voiced their disappointment with the ballot result and with subsequent events. 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”.
  • Authority from the membership to hold a fresh postal ballot was granted overwhelmingly by show of hands at an Extraordinary General Meeting of the membership on 8 September 2016.
  • On 16 February 2017, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers announced that voting in a fresh ballot on the admission of women as Members of the Club had begun with the outcome of the independently scrutinised process scheduled for announcement in mid-March 2017. Voting in favour of the resolution to admit women as Members was recommended, unanimously, by The Captain, Captain Nominate and the Club Committee of the Honourable Company.

This will not be the end of the discussion over female members in the world of golf however with the  Tokyo's 2020 Olympic golf venue being under controversy recently for not allowing women as full members or to play on Sundays.

 

Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x