The R&A have stripped Muirfield from hosting any future British Open’s after voting to keep their all-male membership.
Muirfield Golf Club in Scotland has been stripped of its right to host The Open after its members ruled 64% to 36% in favour of keeping their all-male membership.
The club has been run by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers since 1891 and the reaction to the vote from the golf world was swift.
The R&A reacted by taking Muirfield out of The Open rotation, ruling it out of hosting the major again.
“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,” said R&A chief executive Martin Slumbers in a statement. “If the policy at the club should change, we would reconsider Muirfield as a venue in future.”
Interestingly, Muirfield is one of two clubs on The Open rota that do not admit female members.
The other? Royal Troon. Host of this year’s Open Championship in July.
[bctt tweet=”Muirfield is 1 of 2 all-male clubs on Open. The other? Royal Troon, this year’s host course.” username=”AussieGolfer”]
Rory McIlroy commented on the decision after his opening round of the Irish Open. While McIlroy doesn’t have great memories of Muirfield having missed the cut at the 2013 Open Championship, it was clear the Northern Irishman thought it was a step backwards.
“I think for golf’s image, as we are trying to break out of this stuffy, old; we are trying to become more with the times and trying to do things to make golf faster, make golf cooler, make more people included.” McIlroy said. “Yeah, today wasn’t a great day to do that.”
Gary Player won at Muirfield as a 23-year-old in 1959 and he took to Twitter to convey his thoughts.
— Gary Player (@garyplayer) May 19, 2016
Almost everyone is in agreement that as a club, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers are entitled to do whatever they want, but unless they admit women to their membership, they give up the right to host the world oldest major.