The Real Reason Muirfield Golf Club Overturn Its Ban On Women

By Peter C

Muirfield Golf Club, one of the world’s oldest golf clubs, has set a new record after overturning its ban on women. Before 2017, the 273-year-old club didn’t allow women to join. While the long-awaited rule change has been applauded by all, especially as it allows women’s inclusion in the activities of the club, it is only reasonable to understand what brought about this development.

Jim Mandeville/

In 2016, members of Muirfield voted in favor of the existing policy which prevents women from being part of the club. Many concerned establishments and organizations, particularly the organizing body of the British Open, were not happy about the club’s resolve. In a bid to show their displeasure, the organizers of the British Open decided to stop hosting the competition at the club. Did this change anything?

Well, members of the Muirfield Golf Club met the following year to review their decision from the previous year. This time, there was a remarkable turnaround of events after 498 members voted in favor of women’s admission.

When asked about the new development, Muirfield Captain Henry Fairweather believed the heavy backlash received by members of the club made them reverse the ban. As expected, the organizers of the British Open were excited to hear about this and also pledged to continue hosting the British Open at the club.

While it took up to two years before women were fully allowed to start joining the club, the reality today is that the club has welcomed up to 18 female members.