Fall of the dinosaurs
Time to stick my head above the parapet, re Muirfield.
First, I’m pleased the HCEG has reached the decision it has, for its own sake. It’s the people who know least who have had the most to say about the issue. Ignorance is never a good a starting point for a debate, but much of what’s been written on social media has been mere abuse. Even in the wake of a positive vote that hasn’t changed.
I don’t know the whole story but I know some of it, having lived more or less next door to the place for 46 years. In that time I’ve played the course twice, but I know several Muirfield members and none of them are dinosaurs. Today is the second occasion on which theyve voted to admit lady members, having been hangstrung by their constitution first time around.
Golf is a competitive game played largely by men against men and women against women, so it’s not unnatural that separate men’s and ladies’ clubs have evolved over the years. They were what they were but some were more exclusive than others. In the case of Muirfield, when the first lady member tees off she will not be the first lady to have played the course, not by a long chalk. There’s a legend of another club where ladies were not permitted to walk in front of the clubhouse windows.
As for the Open, Muirfield doesn’t need it financially, and I’m told that many within the club would prefer if it remained off the Championship rota. But it will be returned, and every twelve years or so Muirfield’s members will continue to enable the substantial contribution to the Scottish economy that it brings.