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Muirfield golf club ban on women members 'damages Scotland' - poll

Published 05/06/2016

Muirfield golf club captain Henry Fairweather makes an announcement on the outcome of a membership ballot on the admission of women as members
Muirfield golf club captain Henry Fairweather makes an announcement on the outcome of a membership ballot on the admission of women as members

Almost three-quarters of Scots believe Muirfield golf club's ban on women members is "damaging to Scotland's reputation", according to a new poll.

The survey of more than 1,000 Scots also found nearly 80% think women should have the same standing as men in Scottish golf clubs.

The Survation poll was commissioned by campaign group 38 Degrees following the East Lothian club's vote last month against allowing women members, which led to it losing the right to host golf's Open Championship.

Muirfield held the ballot at the end of a two-year consultation on membership, but failed to get the two-thirds majority of its 648 eligible voters required to change the policy.

Of the 616 members who voted, 397, or 64%, voted in favour of admitting women, while 219, or 36%, voted against.

Maggie Chao, 38 Degrees' spokeswoman, said: "The majority of Muirfield's members actually voted to admit female members.

"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."

High-profile figures have spoken out on the issue, with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon describing the result as ''indefensible'', Prime Minister David Cameron saying it was ''outdated'' and 2014 Open Championship winner Rory McIlroy calling on the club to "see sense".

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