The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers want to hold a postal ballot on allowing women members at Muirfield by the end of the year


Muirfield to Vote Again on Allowing Women Members

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (HCEG), the world’s oldest golf club, wants another ballot on admitting women as members of the club.

Last month, on the 19th May, the club announced that a vote to allow women members had failed to reach the required two thirds majority it needed for change.

64% voted in favour of allowing women members, whilst 36% voted against on a turnout of 95% of members eligible to vote.

This led to a statement from the R&A, golf’s governing body across the world barring the USA and Mexico, which said that they would not consider Muirfield as an Open Championship venue until it allowed female members.

The consequences of Muirfield’s no women vote

The Club Committee will now seek authority from the membership, at a Special General Meeting, to hold a fresh postal ballot before the end of the year.

HCEG Captain, Henry Fairweather said that the club wants to restore it’s reputation after the club received wide-spread criticism from around the world.

“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.”

Muirfield has hosted the Open on 16 occasions, most recently in 2013 where Phil Mickelson won his first ever Open Championship.


Phil Mickelson holds the Claret Jug in front of the clubhouse Credit: (ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The earliest it can host the Open is in 2022.

2017 – Royal Birkdale

2018 – Carnoustie

2019 – Royal Portrush

2020 and 2021 are causing a dilemma with the R&A as St. Andrews, the Home of Golf, hosts the Open on five-year cycles and is due to host in 2020, however the 2021 Open will be the tournament’s 150th playing so it is thought that the R&A would take it there.

If St. Andrews does host the 150th Open in 2021, Royal St. Georges, which last hosted in 2011 when Darren Clarke triumphed, is favourite.

Muirfield ranks 1st in Golf Monthly’s 2015/16 Top 100 UK&I golf courses