The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers has finally come to their senses. Nearly 11 months after the club voted to continue to exclude women from joining the members have changed their minds.
According to the BBC the vote passed with 80.2% in favor of allowing women to join. The decision comes after the R&A swiftly pulled Muirfield, who had hosted the Open Championship 16 times, from the rotation after the initial vote. R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers has already stated that the course will now be added back into the rota.
“It is extremely important for us in staging one of the world’s great sporting events that women can become members at all our host clubs.
“Muirfield is a truly outstanding Open venue and we very much look forward to taking the championship there in future,” he said.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy tees off on the first during the second round of the 2013 British Open Golf Championship at Muirfield golf course at Gullane in Scotland on July 19, 2013. (PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)
The initial vote drew criticism from many including Rory McIlroy who said:
“It’s not right to host the biggest golf tournament at a club where women are not allowed. Hopefully, Muirfield will see some sense and we can get it back on the rota.”
Of the 498 votes cast, 123 grumpy men, or 19.8% of the votes, were against allowing women to join the club that has been around since 1744.
The club captain Henry Fairweather said of the result:
“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.
“We look forward to welcoming women as members who will enjoy, and benefit from, the great traditions and friendly spirit of this remarkable club.”
It could be quite some time before a woman is actually admitted into the club thanks to a long waiting list.
“The current waiting list for membership at Muirfield suggests that new candidates for membership, women and men, can expect to wait two to three years, or longer, to become a member of the club.”
Still, golf wins again!