After an embarrassing episode that left much of the golf world harshly criticizing Muirfield Golf Club for voting not to admit female members, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers is planning to vote again.
Last month, the Scottish club missed the two-thirds majority required to change the policy, which led to a nearly unanimous disapproval all across golf. The decision to remain male-only led to the Open Championship declaring that Muirfield would not be a future host of the prestigious major.
HCEG captain Henry Fairweather says the club committee believes a ”clear and decisive vote in favor 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.”
Phil Mickelson won the last Open Championship contested at Muirfield back in 2013. The course has hosted the event 16 times in a 114-year span and could host again if female members are admitted.
This is the statement issued by the Club:
27 June 2016, Gullane, Scotland: The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (HCEG), the world’s oldest golf club, is seeking a fresh ballot of its membership on admitting women as members of the Club.
Six weeks ago (19 May 2016) the Club announced its admission resolution, supported unanimously by the Club Committee, had failed to reach the required two thirds majority for change. An independently scrutinised postal ballot recorded a vote of 64% in favour of the resolution and 36% against on a turnout of 95% of members eligible to 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:
“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”.