Muirfield - The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers
One of the oldest clubs in the world, dating back to 1744, and site of numerous British Open Championships (ranked #10 in the world by Golf Magazine). The course has been modified frequently, and now ranks as one of the most popular Open venues, site of the Open in 1992. The active membership comes mainly from the professional circles of Edinburgh, and is very strict on outside play. Fourball matches shall not take longer than 3.5 hours, and a common game here is “Scotch Foursome” with four golfers playing 2 balls, and taking about 2.5 hours to do so! Often they will start guests on the 1st and 10th tees, and please play quickly. Coat and tie are required in the clubhouse at all times, and ladies are never permitted inside. There is no pro shop at Muirfield (Gullane town golf shops sell “logo” items although not authentic). The course is best known for the constant directional changes, and the effect the wind can have on the players. One hole, the wind is at your back, the next at 90 degrees, and then the next hole it's directly in your face. Clusters of fairway bunkers, faced with turf, are a feature, and the only way out may be backwards. The rough is the highest and toughest on planet earth – by all means do what it takes to keep the ball in the fairway. There is a story of a caddy who put down the golf bag in the rough, found the ball but then could not find the bag! The course is somewhat odd in the fact that the first nine holes encircle the back nine. The 9th hole is one of the world’s greatest, at 495 yards and par 5, heading back into the imposing clubhouse. It was designed so that the safer the drive from the tee, the harder the approach will be on your third shot. If gents want lunch in the clubhouse, they can pay for the set fee at the door and must wear jacket and tie. Nice practice facility on site, caddies are available but no carts.
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