Women banned from all-male golf club because 'they would question lunch arrangements'

A general view of Muirfield golf club Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

Members of an all-male Scottish golf club who backed a campaign to exclude women from joining their club cited female members questioning "our lunch arrangements" as a reason why they should remain banned.

In a letter signed by 33 current members of Muirfield, obtained by The Scotsman, "the risks" also include "our match system", as women will "question our foursome play".

"It will take a very special lady golfer to be able to do all the things that are expected of them" and women members "may not meet this standard", the letter adds.

However, the members said the club is planning a second course and clubhouse, and the design "would no doubt benefit from female input".

"The course would be designed to offer high-quality golf in a marvellous location and be outstanding in its own right", before adding: "The clubhouse would be more modest with changing and food and beverage facilities to meet its individual requirements and its design would no doubt benefit from female input."

The vote by 750 of Muirfield members fell short of the two-thirds majority required for women to become members of the club the first time in its 272-year history.

As a result of the ballot, Royal and Ancient has stripped Muirfield as the right to host the Open championship.

The letter says:

Visitors play golf at Muirfield Credit: Andrew Milligan/PA

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged the "encouraging" majority of members who voted in favour of admitting women, but she labelled the result of the ballot "indefensible":