Story highlights

  • First time in history female members allowed
  • Club voted against allowing women members in 2016
  • Held fresh ballot after losing right to stage British Open

In a fresh ballot, 80.2% of members at the privately owned Scottish golf club, founded in 1744, opted to accept female members, overturning a previous vote held less than 12 months ago.

The R&A, the organizer of the Open Championship, moved quickly to reinstate Muirfield on the Open rota after it was removed in 2016.

The result of last May’s vote caused a storm, with Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon calling the decision “indefensible.”

In response to Tuesday’s announcement, Sturgeon 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.”

READ: Muirfield banned from hosting British Open
READ: Muirfield seeks new female membership vote

Club captain Henry Fairweather said 498 votes had returned in favor of overturning the club’s male-only stance, with 123 votes against.

“We look forward to welcoming women as members who will enjoy, and benefit, from the great traditions and friendly spirit of this remarkable club,” said Fairweather.

Muirfield last held the British Open in 2013

Muirfield, which is home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, hosted the last of its 16 Open Championships in 2013 when America’s Phil Mickelson lifted the famous Claret Jug.

Martin Slumbers, chief executive of 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 of all our host clubs.

“Muirfield is a truly outstanding Open venue and we very much look forward to taking the Championship back there in future.”