For the first time in 275 years, Muirfield has formally invited women to join the club.
The decision comes two years after the private club voted 80 percent in favor of updating its membership policy to include women. Prior to that vote, in 2016, the R&A removed Muirfield from The Open rota because of its exclusionary practices.
According to the club, 12 women – and three men – have been invited to join the club after July 1.
“This marks a milestone in the club’s illustrious history, and we look forward to welcoming all of our new members to share in the great values and traditions of our club,” Alistair Campbell, captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, said in a statement. “We are proud of our rich history, but equally excited for its future and the part all of our new members will play in the club’s cherished traditions.”
The 15 candidates were proposed and then seconded by members and five referees. The club’s membership then wrote letters of support if they know the candidates or have played with them.
Muirfield was founded in 1744 and required a two-thirds vote to support the move to admit women members. That vote fell short in 2016 (64 percent) but was ultimately passed a year later.
Muirfield last hosted an Open Championship in 2013 but has since returned to the rota. Only the next four Open venues are known, through the 2022 edition at Royal Liverpool.