Muirfield Golf Club
Edinburgh & East Lothian, Scotland
Muirfield Golf Club overview
Muirfield Golf Club, otherwise known as ‘The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers’ is the world’s oldest club, dating back to 1744 according to direct written evidence. 1891 saw the creation of the Muirfield known today when the club relocated to Gullane in East Lothian, approximately 40 minutes east of Edinburgh by car. Muirfield hosted its first Open Championship in 1892 and has held the event at regular intervals ever since with only the Old Course at St Andrews and Prestwick hosting more Opens.
There is a common misconception with Muirfield that it is an old and stuffy club when in fact visiting golfers are always treated with an extremely warm welcome, however, to play Muirfield does require advanced planning due to the limited supply of tee times. It is a day worth savouring, however, therefore taking lunch in the clubhouse after your morning 18-holes followed by foursomes in the afternoon is recommended as it provides one of the greatest days in golf.
The club renovated its clubhouse in 2019, adding a ladies locker room and a small retail shop, plus there is a quality practice area and putting green that all visitors are welcome to use.
Muirfield Golf Course overview
Muirfield Golf Club was originally an Old Tom Morris design but 37 years after the initial creation Harry Colt and Tom Simpson were employed to make changes to the layout. Many golf historians believe that these latter adjustments turned it into a masterpiece.
Muirfield was built as two concentric loops of nine, with the back nine routed anti-clockwise inside the front nine which runs in a clockwise direction around the edge of the property. This unique layout adds to the difficulty as the wind plays from a different direction on every hole.
A host of The Open Championship since 1892 the course has often produced winners who were at the peak of their powers, with players such as Player, Nicklaus, Trevino, Watson, Faldo and Els all lifting the Claret Jug at Muirfield.
A supreme test with its brutal bunkering and sometimes penal rough, accurate play is required in order to score well at Muirfield. And whilst you do not get the sweeping ocean views of a Royal Troon or Ailsa Course at Turnberry you still get a wonderful links experience which should be on every golfer’s bucket list when visiting Scotland.
Two holes are worthy of special mention at Muirfield Golf Club. The first being the par-5 9th hole which at 554-yards requires a straight drive in between two carefully placed pot bunkers with out-of-bounds down the left side. The approach to the green must then avoid a further five bunkers that all lurk short of the green.
The par-3 13th is also memorable and is considered one of the best short holes on The Open rota. The uphill 191-yard hole is protected by five bunkers short of the green and the deep but narrow putting surface slopes from back to front meaning anything landing beyond the flag results in a fast-downhill putt.
Players are advised to lay-up at around the 240-yard mark, then hit their approach shot over the deep, unforgiving cross-bunker in the middle of the fairway. There is no let-up on the green which is highly undulating and slick.
Did You Know?
On his way to winning his first Major Championship, Nick Faldo made 18 straight pars in the final round of the 1987 Open Championship at Muirfield to beat Paul Azinger by a single stroke.
Accommodation near Muirfield Golf Club
The Nether Abbey Hotel
A high-class 3-star property located in North Berwick just 45 minutes east of Edinburgh. With 12 recently refurbished guestrooms and known for its excellent service and great locally sourced food.
The Albany Hotel
A delightful Georgian terraced house dating back to 1764, the Albany Hotel is a friendly boutique hotel located in the heart of St. Andrews, with 22 guest rooms of different sizes and layouts.