The Open Championship at Muirfield
There’s something special about Muirfield. It’s not the front gate that reads “The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers”, or the ancient stone walls that border the golf course, or even the traditional, timeless clubhouse that guards the 18th green.
No, Muirfield is special because it’s where great players become legends. You beat the field on this magnificent course and you don’t just walk away with the Claret Jug, you establish a reputation that you performed your best on one of the world’s best layouts.
There are lots of wonderful places to play golf in the East Lothian region of Scotland, but Muirfield is its prized jewel and for good reason. History and tradition permeate this place. It’s like stepping onto the grounds at Augusta National, except you’re in Scotland and this is links golf. The golf course is ruggedly beautiful, with its tall wispy grass, immaculately maintained greens, and deep and penal pot bunkers.
Golf architect Donald Steele articulated it superbly when he said “Muirfield embraces more of the qualities that a perfectionist seeks in his ideal course”.
Golf was first played at Muirfield in 1891 and it has enamored and challenged professionals and amateurs alike ever since. After all these years, there’s still one vital thing a player needs to be successful on this golf course, their wits. This course challenges you to play creatively and strategically and great champions win here because they’re not only the best, but the smartest. Legends like Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Harry Vardon, Gary Player and Nick Faldo all won the Claret Jug at Muirfield.
One of the most challenging elements of this course is its clockwise and counter clockwise design, which means that if the wind stays consistent throughout the round, no hole will have the same wind direction. This makes it tough for competitors, most tour pros thrive off of their “birdie runs” and it’ll be much harder to go on a run when you’re downwind on one hole and into the wind on the next.
Expect lots of drama at this week’s Open Championship as we watch the world’s best compete for a chance to be a part of history. There are many players itching to win their first major and there are many major champions who would love to conquer Muirfield.