Let's savor the comedic component of Muirfield joining the new century. After all, they re-voted to finally change their membership policies, reports Martin Dempster.
That the R&A's Martin Slumbers welcomed their rivals back into The Open rota the moment a policy was changed and well before candidates from the other gender were even considered for membership, speaks to one thing and one thing only: the R&A is happily postponing a return to Trump Turnberry.
Remember, Turnberry last hosted The Open in 2009 and has since undergone a fantastic renovation incorporating former Chief Inspector Architect Peter Dawson's design suggestions. In theory, the spectacular resort should be in line for the next likely open date in 2022.
Muirfield last hosted in 2013 and while a wonderful place for The Open, a 2022 return would be a bit faster than normal for the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Especially in light of their resistance to progress and their long standing rivalry with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. To see these two clubs in such a loving embrace, well, it moves me on this Tuesday morning.
Of course, the real comedy comes from knowing it'll be years before we know if Muirfield even admitted a woman. From Alistair Tait's Golfweek.com story:
There is no timetable for women to join the club. In an official statement the club said: “The current waiting list for membership at Muirfield suggests that new candidates for membership, women and men, can expect to wait two to three years, or longer, to become a member of the club.”
The immediacy of the R&A's embrace of their old rivals can very easily be interpreted as an opportunity to postpone a return to Turnberry for another year.
Politics makes strange bedfellows indeed.