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UK Politics

Alex Salmond refuses invitation to men-only Open Championship golf club

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield maintains the archaic policy of 'Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden'

Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond has said he will not attend the prestigious Open Championship due the host course’s continued ban on female members.

Despite being a known golf fan, Salmond said he would not be at the world-renowned tournament when it is held in East Lothian next month.

A spokesman for the Scottish National Party leader said he had refused an invitation to the event, hosted by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers at Muirfield links course, but wished everyone involved “all the best”.  

“The First Minister will not be at Muirfield, but he wishes everyone involved all the best for a great tournament,” he said.

“His views on single-sex golf clubs are well-enough known, but we are sure this year’s Open will be another fantastic advert for Scotland, and we expect tourism minister Fergus Ewing to attend for the Scottish Government.”

Salmond has previously attacked the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews for its similar failure to offer noted women membership of the club.

It is a long-lasting tradition for the club to offer gratis admittance to the principal of nearby St Andrew’s University, but they pointedly failed to invite female head Dr Louise Richardson.

Reacting at the time, the First Minister said: “The Royal and Ancient Golf Club should follow their long-standing practice of offering membership to the principal of St Andrews University, and I am sure that after due consideration they will continue with that honourable tradition.”