Muirfield has hosted the Open Championship on 16 occasions [Image: Popperfoto/Getty Images].

Muirfield has hosted the Open Championship on 16 occasions [Image: Popperfoto/Getty Images].

Some might think too much of a fuss is being made about some stuffy old golf club where the male members are so backward they won’t consider accepting women.

Silly, silly people.

Sexism of this kind is unacceptable anywhere. The men of Muirfield have no grounds for refusing women other than their gender and that is unconscionable in this day and age.

This Writer also finds it ironic that a club which is closed to more than half the population is concerned about retaining its ‘Open’ status. What a contradiction in terms.

The fossilised attitude of this club is exemplified by the comments of golfer Peter Alliss, who seems to think it is perfectly acceptable to tell women that, if they want to play at the club, they should marry a member.

He went on to say that single women would have to save up for many years, for the privilege of playing 20 games a year after becoming a member.

How insulting. Doesn’t he know there are many women who have managed to earn enough wealth, independently of men, to buy membership in a crummy provincial golf club out of the loose change in their back pocket?

This attitude, like the members who put it forward, belongs in the 19th century when Muirfield was formed.

If these men won’t change, then perhaps the club should be consigned to history, and a better use found for the land.

Perhaps it could be turned into a wind farm.

Muirfield is in danger of losing its Open status with members close to blocking the admission of women. An announcement on that vote could arrive as early as Thursday.

Muirfield, as controlled by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, has presided over an historically male-only membership policy. That bias has come into intense focus around recent Opens, most recently in 2013 when the R&A, which controls the third major of the year, was vehemently criticised for utilising the East Lothian venue.

Since 1892, 16 Opens have been held at Muirfield. Should current membership rules be endorsed by a 2016 vote, two-thirds is needed to allow female members, scope for a 17th in the near future would be removed. A consultation exercise with members opened after the events of three years ago, but it was never a given that Muirfield’s policy would change. It has now emerged that a group of 30 members, fronting a “no” campaign against the admission of women, has had a strong influence. In their letter to them, as obtained by The Scotsman, they state:

“Change must come slowly and for choice should be evolutionary. A traditional resistance to change is one of the foundations of our unique position in golf and our reputation.

“It is recommended that members vote against the resolution to change our rules to include the admission of lady members.”

Source: Muirfield set to lose Open status if it rejects female membership | Sport | The Guardian


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