After an embarrassing vote in May of 2016 cost famous Muirfield in Scotland its spot in the Open golf rotation, it became a standoff with the Royal and Ancient. On Tuesday morning, the 273 year old club blinked.
Muirfield’s members re-voted overwhelmingly (498-123) to reverse course and allow females to join for the first time ever. Thus, it ended their embarrassing episode. Previously, in 2014 St. Andrews had adhered to the R & A’s warning and voted to allow women members and kept their spot for the (British) Open from being lost.
Royal St. George’s followed suit allowing women members in 2015 and just last month was put back in the rotation by the R & A.
Back to Tuesday morning, Muirfield spokesman Henry Fairweather (a great ironic name for this subject/vote change) lauded the vote, “We look forward to welcoming women as members who will enjoy, and benefit from, the great traditions and friendly spirit of this remarkable club.”
The R & A reacted quickly Tuesday morning to the positive move, as CEO Martin Slumbers stated to the media, “”Muirfield has a long and important history of hosting The Open and with today’s announcement that will continue.”
The famed course last hosted the Championship in 2013, when Phil Mickelson roared from behind in Sunday’s final round to capture his first Claret Jug. The earliest that it can be awarded a future Open by the R & A is 2022.