Women members at Muirfield

It is named The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.

It is the oldest verifiable organised golf club in the world, with its records dating continuously back 275 years to 1744.

Its home course is at Muirfield in Scotland and it has hosted The Open Championship, more commonly known as the British Open, 16 times.

But a few years ago it was taken off the British Open roster when a vote to allow women to become members was defeated. The subsequent publicity resulted in another vote being taken and now, just 275 years after it was formed, it has allowed women to be members.

There are just 12 of them at this stage but club captain Alistair Campbell said they would be welcomed.

“It is my great pleasure to announce that 12 women have been formally invited to join the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers,’’ Campbell said last month.

“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.”

Renovations to the clubhouse were required to include a ladies’ locker room.

Campbell added: “We are delighted now to have completed the extensive renovation of the clubhouse which includes improvements to the whole building for the first time since 1980. We now have a clubhouse that matches our world-class golf course.”

The renovated Muirfield clubhouse, which was originally built in 1891, also houses an exceptional display of the club’s history and memorabilia. It includes a showcase of the ‘13 Rules of Golf’ – the earliest known written rules of the game, which were drafted by the club in 1744. 

Also on display is the Silver Club, the sport’s first trophy, which was presented in 1744.

As is the tradition at HCEG, individuals who are invited to become members of the club must first be proposed and seconded by existing members and five referees. The club’s membership is then invited to write in support, or otherwise, of those put forward, who are personally known to them or have golfed with them.