For the first time in its history Muirfield golf club has voted to admit women members as 80% of them voted to update their membership policy.
This was after the R&A removed it from the Open rota in 2016 when they voted against it last year, before immediately popping it back on after the announcement today from the club captain Henry Fairweather, who reminds you of James WIlliam Bottomtooth from Family Guy.
Now let’s get fucking real here.
The ONLY time golf makes national headlines is when some old, decrepit tosspot stumbles out in front of some cameras and reluctantly peels himself away from his Blue Nun in the clubhouse and has to rejoin the real world for a few minutes.
Through gritted teeth old Henry has to pretend they all want women to join for a few minutes rather than sit about in the club dining room fondling his mate’s balls all day, or whatever the hell else they get up to in these kind of places.
It’s actually embarrassing for golf.
Forget whether or not it is right or wrong to not allow women to join for a second, it’s just really shit PR.
When us golfers speak to people who don’t love the game like we do, they might not know that sweet feeling of crunching a 7-iron, or playing twilight golf with their best mates. Their starting point is going to be old Henry ‘Fiddlewithyourballs’ Fairweather from the ‘Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.’
And the R&A aren’t much better either. It’s like they have no other option as they immediately reinstate a club that has brought both controversy and horrible PR. Or more likely they don't give a shit.
You can imagine the internal conversations…
‘We’re getting a bit of stick for this whole women thing old chap. We’ll ban you for now to make it all go away and then let you back in when you push your vote through.
"You can still make it bloody hard for them to apply though… don’t want them running about everywhere screaming or menstruating everywhere in the dining room do we old boy?’
Imagine if the R&A just grew some actual bollocks and gave Muirfield’s spot to a more deserving fresh new Open venue?
Porthcawl in Wales? Royal County Down? Even St. Enodoc in Cornwall as a random one. I’m sure there are many others you’ll tell me of.
After the seemingly good work they did with the modern rule changes they may have had an opportunity here, create some good PR for the game.
But no, they bent over and took it to keep their old chums in.
Where one in five of the jurassic era members still voted against getting even close to the 20th century, let alone the 21st, even though they’ll probably be dead by the time the two year membership process is up. That’s if that membership opportunity is attractive to any woman on the planet?
I say good luck to the old boys. You have your little 1800s gentlemen’s club where you can cough and quaff all day. Do what you want.
But fuck giving them The Open, the most special event there is in our sport. Take it elsewhere.
With respect to the legend that is Gary Player (above) this isn’t making golf a 'progressive sport'. It’s like upgrading from a wireless radio to a black and white TV when the world is on 4K flatscreens and virtual reality. They’re not even close.
In an age of Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler and numerous other potential superstars the image many people see is the old chaps at the R&A and Muirfield just bumbling along and doing the bare minimum to appease the masses.
Maybe I’m by myself thinking this is embarrassing for the sport I love? Maybe I’ve gone OTT and used too many swear words? Maybe nobody really gives a shit?
But seriously. ‘The Royal Company of Edinburgh Golfers’... Cunts.
I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.