Muirfield to welcome women for first time

FILE PHOTO: Tiger Woods of the U.S. hits out of the rough on the tenth hole during the final round of the British Open golf championship at Muirfield in Scotland July 21, 2013. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

For 275 years, Muirfield in Scotland has welcomed only male members. Next month, that will change.

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which includes Muirfield, said 12 female members will be admitted next month as part of an extensive makeover of the grounds. The club voted two years ago to welcome women, after declining in 2016 to expand membership from men-only status.

The Royal and Ancient, which operates the Open Championship, ruled the Open rotation would not include male-only clubs.

That forced Muirfield into a second vote in 2017, when members of the club voted in favor of admitting women by more than 80 percent.

“This marks a milestone in the Club’s illustrious history, and we look forward to welcoming all of our new members to share in the great values and traditions of our club,” Alistair Campbell, captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, said in a statement.

Located in Gullane, Scotland, Muirfield first staged the Open in 1892 and 16 times overall. There was no announcement Thursday about when the Open might return to the site of Phil Mickelson’s victory in the 2013 Open.

R&A awarded the next three Open Championships to Royal St. George’s (2020), The Old Course at St. Andrews in 2021 and Royal Liverpool in 2022.

—Field Level Media

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