It seems to me that this whole issue has got little to do with the actual principle of having open membership for males and females alike. It is simply based on the club hosting the Open Championship. Traditionally, Muirfield has been part of the Open circuit for many years and most certainly gains a lot in terms of revenue and spin off from the event. The local community also gains important income from the Open. I don't know the reasons why they voted to keep women out on the first vote when they knew that the Club would lose it's place on the circuit, but you can bet your last dime that the decision to have a second vote was not based on the male/female issue but on economical and prestige grounds. If Muirfield had just been a run of the mill club with a 'no female' policy, it would still have the same status today.