Muirfield Golf Club voted to admit women as members for the first time in the club’s 273-year history on Tuesday.
The venerable Scottish golf club faced controversy — and the loss of its place in the Open Championship rota — after a vote last year resulted in only 64% support for the motion to allow women to join the club, which was short of the two thirds needed to pass. Tuesday’s second vote, however, garnered 80.2% support to end the club’s male-only membership policy.
“This is a significant decision for a club which was founded in 1744 and retains many of the values and aspirations of its founding members,” said Henry Fairweather, captain of Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which operates Muirfield, according to the BBC. “We look forward to welcoming women as members who will enjoy, and benefit from, the great traditions and friendly spirit of this remarkable club.”
Following the announcement, the R&A issued a statement that Muirfield would re-join the rota.
“In light of today’s decision by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, we can confirm that Muirfield will become a venue for the Open once again,” R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers said. “It is extremely important for us in staging one of the world’s great sporting events that women can become members at all of our host clubs.”
The move was also hailed by Nicola Sturgeon, the first female First Minister of Scotland, who took to Twitter to praise the club.
Well done, Muirfield – decision to admit women members emphatic & the right one. Look forward to seeing you host the Open again in future. https://t.co/kOy9VqfdfF
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) March 14, 2017