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‘Oldest’ Golf Club Finally Votes to Allow Women

Muirfield—the historic, privately owned Scottish golf club that has staged the British Open 16 times—has finally voted to admit women for the first time since it was founded in 1744. Fewer than 12 months after its last vote on the matter, 80 percent of its members opted to allow female members. The previous vote in May 2016 was widely criticized and led to condemnation from Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who called it “indefensible.” The new vote effectively reinstates Muirfield as a venue for the British Open rotation—a status it lost last year due to the no-female policy. On Tuesday, Sturgeon wrote, “Well done, Muirfield—decision to admit women members emphatic and the right one. Look forward to seeing you host the Open again in future.” Club captain Henry Fairweather said, “We look forward to welcoming women as members who will enjoy, and benefit, from the great traditions and friendly spirit of this remarkable club.” The club, which last hosted the Open in 2013, said it will likely take about two years before a woman actually joins the establishment.