Muirfield vote ‘damaged Scotland’s reputation’

Muirfield, home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, recently voted to retain a ban on women members.
Picture: Ian Rutherford

Muirfield, home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, recently voted to retain a ban on women members. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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Almost three-quarters of Scots believe the country’s reputation has been damaged by the recent decision to ban women from becoming members at Muirfield.

A new poll also found that nearly 80 per cent of Scots believe women deserve the same membership standing as male members in Scotland’s golf clubs.

The findings put the public at odds with Muirfield, home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which recently voted to retain a ban on women members.

First Minister Nicola Stugeon branded the decision “indefensible” and the club was banned from holding future Open tournaments. The poll comes ahead of a vote by Royal Troon to allow women members.

The Survation poll on behalf campaign organisation 38 Degrees found that 74 per cent of Scots believe that Muirfield’s men-only membership policy is “damaging to Scotland’s reputation”, while just 12 per cent felt the opposite.

It also found that 78 per cent of golf clubs in Scotland should allow women to be full members, with the same standing as men. Only 7 per cent disagreed with this.

Maggie Chao, from 38 Degrees, said: “As this poll makes clear, the overwhelming majority of Scots believe that women should have the same standing as men in all of Scotland’s golf clubs.

“This poll gives the club an opportunity to revisit their decision and bring their membership policy into line with what most Scots – and most of their members – want.”

The vote at the East Lothian club saw 64 per cent of members back the move to allow women members but it fell short of the two-thirds majority needed.

The survey questioned 1,019 Scots over the past week.

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