Muirfield to lose Open rights after denying female members
By Jefferson Lake
Last Updated: 20/05/16 6:21am
Muirfield has lost the right to stage the Open Championship after its members voted against allowing women to join.
The R&A have confirmed in a statement that they will not allow "the Championship (to be staged) at a venue that does not admit women as members".
The statement continued: "Given the schedule for staging The Open, it would be some years before Muirfield would have been considered to host the Championship again. If the policy at the club should change we would reconsider Muirfield as a venue for The Open in future."
The vote to allow women to become members failed to reach the two-thirds majority required to be passed.
Muirfield most recently hosted the tournament in 2013 and it was held there for the first time in 1892.
Commenting on the news, the Ladies European Tour's chief executive officer Ivan Khodabakshsh, said: "The Ladies European Tour is disappointed to hear that the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers has voted against admitting women as members.
"Sports reflect the values of the society in which we live and today men and women have equal rights. We believe this should be reflected not only in top level international tournaments but also at club level."
The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers - founded in 1744 and the first to set down the playing rules of the sport - had urged its members to vote in favour of the resolution.
Prior to the vote, club secretary Stuart McEwen said: "In an open letter to members, the club board recommends that the membership vote in favour of the admission resolution to admit women as members.
"We are aware that a small group of members have been canvassing support to vote against admitting women as members at this time. They want more time to consider further options for the future."