It seems that Muirfield and the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers have at long last seen the light.
While we’re still waiting for official world from the venerable Scottish course, members are expected to have agreed to admit women as members. Now, if they’ll only talk to the folks at Kasumigaseki Country Club, host venue for the 2020 Olympics.
The club, which was founded in 1744, voted last May not to admit women as full members and was summarily stricken from the Open rotation for the bigoted policy. The “stay the course” vote was narrow, with 64 percent of members voting to admit women, just short of the two-thirds majority.
After R&A chief Martin Slumbers informed the club of its removal, the Honourable Company decided, not surprisingly, to hold a new ballot in light of the international embarrassment.
“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”.
Progressives that they are, Muirfield held another ballot on February 16 with the understanding that a vote to admit women would result in the immediate restoration of Muirfield to the Open rota. And, of course, a massive windfall of cash and the restoration of prestige.
Among Open venues, Royal St George’s and Royal Troon decided to get with the times recently, making Muirfield the long holdout of a bygone era.
The last time The Open was contested at Muirfield was 2013 when Phil Mickelson won in brilliant fashion.
All golf fans on this side of the 19th century are hoping the iconic course has reached the two-thirds majority and will be the site of future dramas like the Mickelson triumph.