Members of Muirfield have voted against allowing women golfers to join the Open-hosting club, the BBC understands. Of the 648 members who were eligible to vote, after a two-year consultation process, the move did not receive the two-thirds majority (432) needed.
R&A Chief Executive Martin Slumbers announced that Muirfield would be removed The Open rotation.
‘The R&A has considered today’s decision with respect to The Open Championship. The Open is one of the world’s great sporting events and going forward we will not stage the Championship at a venue that does not admit women as members
‘Given the schedule for staging The Open, it would be some years before Muirfield would have been considered to host the Championship again. If the policy at the club should change we would reconsider Muirfield as a venue for The Open in future,’ he said.
Troon, which stages this year’s Championship, has separate men’s and women’s clubs and is consulting members over whether to alter that arrangement.
The Open was last played at Muirfield – a privately owned links in East Lothian, and the home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers – in 2013, with Phil Mickelson winning the famous Claret Jug.
A 33-strong group of ‘no’ campaigners among the Muirfield members cited concerns about slow play and making women “feel uncomfortable” among the “risks” of admitting female members.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews opened its membership to women in 2014 for the first time in 260 years, while Royal St George’s in Kent lifted its ban on women last year.
The decision could affect whether Muirfield remains on the Open Championship roster in future.
The R&A – which decides on venues – is expected to comment later on Thursday.
With reporting from bbc.com