At 269 years old, Muirfield is one of the most historic golf courses in the world.
It’s also characterised by exclusionary membership policies and pretentious quirks, all of which make it Scotland’s answer to Augusta National.
There are no women members at the club, which goes by the name “The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.”
In recent years pro golfers have described that policy as “archaic,” and Ernie Els told the Independent last week, “It’s weird, isn’t it? We’ve got presidents, prime ministers, who are women. Should The Open be there? All I can say is it is weird in this day and age but it is what it is.”
Women can play at the club as guests, the New York Times reports, but full membership for women is banned.
Augusta admitted its first female members last summer (Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore).
Beyond the membership policy, Muirfield has a bunch of other quirks that — depending on your point of view — you’ll either find charming or snooty. Paul Azinger told the New York Times that it’s probably the hardest place in the world to play a round of golf.
Some of the policies:
1. You aren’t allowed to play your own ball. Members play in groups of four, but instead of each guy hitting his own ball, they break into pairs and alternate hitting shots. As a result, it only takes 2.5 hours to finish a round.
2. They don’t allow golf before 7 a.m. Tiger Woods was confronted by a security guard and told he had to wait 20 minutes when he tried to play at 6:40 a.m. yesterday.
3. They forbid the British Open organisers from putting stands directly in front of the clubhouse because they don’t want to obstruct the view for the members, according to Golf.com. So they’re along the fairway.
4. Members have to arrive in a jacket and tie and then change into their golf clothes.
Lest we forget. pic.twitter.com/V94GGFFPWf
— Eamon Lynch (@eamonlynch) July 16, 2013
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