A Scottish golf club which came under fire last year for failing to allow female members to join is to hold a second ballot next month.

Muirfield Golf Club in East Lothian made national headlines in May after its members voted not to allow women to join.

However, announcing a second ballot, in a statement published by STV News, the club confirmed: “Members of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers have begun voting in a fresh ballot on the admission of women as members of the club.

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“The postal ballot will be independently scrutinised and the outcome is expected to be announced in mid-March 2017.”

The move comes eight months after the club held its first ballot at the end of a two-year consultation on membership, but failed to get the two-thirds majority of its 648 eligible voters required to change the policy.

Of the 616 members who voted, 397 - or 64% - voted in favour of admitting women, while 219 - or 36% - voted against.

At the time, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon criticised the decision, describing it as “indefensible,” while former Prime Minister, David Cameron, said the result was “outdated.”

Scottish professional golfer, Paul Lawrie, also spoke out after the first ballot. He said: “How can you not let ladies be a member of a golf club? Imagine not being able to take your wife into the golf club. It’s just not right.

Catriona Matthew, who won the Women’s Open in 2009 at Royal Lytham, took to social media to express her anger at the time, and hit out: “Embarrassed to be a Scottish women [sic] golfer from East Lothian after that decision.”

A petition on the 38 Degrees site garnered 1,500 signatures last year. The petition’s creator, Julie Watt, said: “It’s 98 years since (some) women were allowed to vote in Britain, and 214 years since A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was published.

“Muirfield Golf Club needs to get up-to-date. Treating all human beings as equal is a mark of civilisation.”

Shortly after the first ballot’s result, in a poll, almost three-quarters of Scots believed the ban to be “damaging to Scotland’s reputation.”

The survey of more than 1,000 Scots also found nearly 80% thought women should have the same standing as men in Scottish golf clubs.