After rejecting the idea of female members less than a year ago, Muirfield in Scotland has changed its mind, with an 80 per cent vote last week to admit women for the first time in its 273-year history.
Just prior to the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Rory McIlroy voiced what was on the minds of many after the Muirfield vote.
“In this day and age where you’ve got women who are the leaders of certain industries and heads of state, not being able to join a golf course, I think it’s obscene and ridiculous,” said McIlroy.
“They sort of saw sense, but I still think that it got to this stage is horrendous. We’ll go back and play the Open because they’ve let women members in, but every time I go to Muirfield now I won’t have a great taste in my mouth,” he added.
From what I’ve seen, there has been no conditions set out as to how many women will be allowed to join or how quickly they will be accepted into the membership. Typically, members wait two to three years to get in, so we’ll have to wait to see how welcoming Muirfield is to female members.
In the meantime, however, Muirfield has been put back in the rotation of host clubs for the British Open, an honour that was taken away from the club when it first rejected the idea of women in the membership.
That brings up the natural question, however cynical it may be. Did Muirfield vote to allow female members in the name of gender equality or just to host the Open Championship? In other words, will they truly be accepted as equals and have their specific needs addressed by the club?
That’s the question for this week’s GNN Poll.
You can vote below or on the GNN home page and if you would like to expand your thoughts, feel free to use the Comments section below.