With some 80 percent of members voting for allowing women to join, the Muirfield golf club in Scotland will end its longstanding men-only membership policy, ESPN reported Tuesday.
“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 Henry Fairweather a senior officer with Muirfield’s owner, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, ESPN reported.
Muirfield had been punished by British Open organizers who took the 273-year-old club out of rotation for it exclusive membership policies. Muirfield last voted on expanding membership to women in May 2016, but it failed to garner the needed 2/3rds majority to change the policy.
With women now allowed in membership, Muirfield could host the British Open as early as 2022, ESPN said.
In September 2014, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrew’s voted overwhelmingly — 85 percent of members voting — to allow women into membership, the BBC reported at the time.
In the United States, a similar membership controversy long dogged the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, with activists turning their ire on the CBS network and advertisers who bought commercials on the annual Masters Tournament broadcast. Augusta broke the gender barrier for membership in 2012, with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina businesswoman Darla Moore becoming the first women invited to join the storied club.
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