London, March 14 (IANS) The famous Scottish golf club at Muirfield, banned from hosting the prestigious British Open because it refused to admit female members, on Tuesday announced that it has changed its rules. The 273-year-old Muirfield Golf Club, near Edinburgh, said it will now admit women as members for the first time in its history.
The change of rule follows a vote by members at the privately-owned club, which saw 80.2 percent in favour of changing the membership policy for the first time since its founding in 1744, reports Xinhua news agency.
Golf’s ruling body, the R&A, removed Muirfield as a host venue for the Open Championship after it failed to change its men-only in 2016. The club had required two-thirds of its eligible voters to back admitting women. Muirfield has staged the Open 16 times and last hosted the event in 2013.
Responding to the vote, the R&A said the ban would be lifted. Martin Slumbers, CEO at the R&A said: “It is extremely important for us in staging one of the world’s great sporting events that women can become members at all of our host clubs. Muirfield is a truly outstanding Open venue and we very much look forward to taking the championship back therein future.”
Until today women have been allowed to play golf on the course at Muirfield, but they have not been allowed to apply to become members.