A prestigious Scottish golf club has finally decided to allow the admission of female members for the first time in its 300 year history.
Members at the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, who are based at Muirfield golf course to the east of Edinburgh, voted to allow female members to become part of the club which has been strictly males only for the last 300 years .
The voting saw a majority of 80.2% voting in favour of allowing women in.
The captain of the club, Henry Fairweather, announced the result on Tuesday morning outside the clubhouse, lauding it as a “significant decision” and adding that he was looking forward to welcoming female members.
“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 Fairweather. “We look forward to welcoming women as members who will enjoy, and benefit from, the great traditions and friendly spirit of this remarkable club.”
However, Fairweather confirmed there is a waiting list of two or three years for new members, whether they’re male or female, so the first female members will not be officially admitted to the club until 2019 at the earliest.
The decision was also put to vote last year when members voted against allowing female members . This decision saw the club being reprimanded by golf’s ruling body -The Royal and Ancient and being prohibited from hosting the Open championship.
This decision drew the attention of Nicola Sturgeon who tweeted : “Well done, Muirfield – decision to admit women members emphatic and the right one. Look forward to seeing you host the Open again in future.”
Catriona Matthew, Scottish women’s golf number one, said she was “delighted” to hear the outcome of the vote, adding: “I think it is another positive step, both for Muirfield and for golf as a whole, and I think the progress the R&A has instigated since opening its own doors in 2014 has been very important for the game.”
Muirfield is the world’s oldest recorded golf club and has staged the Open on 16 different occasions – second only to St Andrews.