Members of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (HCEG), the world’s oldest golf club, have voted to remain a men only club.
A two thirds majority of those who voted was required to change the club’s membership policy to admit women as members. In an open letter the Club Committee had recommended that the membership vote in favour of a resolution to admit women as members. In the end a postal ballot of members, scrutinised by Electoral Reform Services, did not reach the required threshold in favour of change. Voting was divided 64 per cent in favour of the resolution and 36 per cent against.
HCEG Captain, Henry Fairweather said: “The Honourable Company is a members club, and, as such, the members decide the Rules of the Club, including its membership policy. Women will continue to be welcome at Muirfield on the course and in the clubhouse as guests and visitors, as they have been for many years.”
The records of the Club reveal that women have played golf at Muirfield since 1904. Women’s and men’s single sex golf clubs, although reducing in number, have been a feature of golf provision in Great Britain and Ireland and comply fully with equality legislation.