Storied golf club refuses women members, then loses spot as host of British Open

Muirfield Golf Club, Gullane, Scotland. (Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Scotland’s Muirfield Golf Club, whose founders literally wrote the rules of golf in 1744 and which has been home to 16 British Opens, recently made an unfortunate decision not to allow female members, ensuring it will host zero British Opens in the near future.

More than 600 voters weighed in on the matter, and while a majority wanted to allow women, not enough prevailed to tip the necessary two-thirds majority.

Martin Slumbers, CEO of the R&A, the group that organizes the British Open, stated: “We have consistently said that it is a matter for the Honourable Company to conduct a review of its membership policy and that we would await their decision. The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events, and going forward we will not stage the Championship at a venue that does not admit women as members.” He added that if the club reconsidered its policy, R&A would reconsider them as a future venue.

The other club in the British Open circuit that doesn’t allow female members is Royal Troon, which is playing host to this year’s Open — a decision that was set 4 years ago, before gender discrimination was as hot a topic as it is today. Royal Troon recently announced it would consult its members about changes to the policy.

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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