MUIRFIELD, GULLANE, EAST
rated #8 in the world on Golf Digest's List of Top Courses.
MUIRFIELD, HOME OF THE
HONOURABLE COMPANY OF EDINBURGH GOLFERS
The world's oldest private club
plays golf at one of the world's top-ranked golf courses. Every so
often, Muirfield invites the world's best golfers to play four rounds
over four days in July when it opens its doors for The (British) Open
Championship, as it did for the 16th time July 14-21, 2013, when
American Phil Mickelson charged out of the pack with 4 birdies in the
last 6 holes to win his first Open and fifth major championship overall. If you're
lucky, you might get to play a round there, too.
courtesy Muirfield HCEG.
UIRFIELD Golf COURSE
is a true Scottish links
located about Ό-mile inland at its closest
point to the south shore of the Firth of Forth. Muirfield is the home of the
world's oldest continuously operating golf club, the Honourable
Company of Edinburgh Golfers (HCEG), with a recorded history extending back to 1744, the
before Bonnie Prince Charlie's doomed Jacobite revolution attempted to
restore the Scottish Stuart dynasty to the throne of the United
Kingdom. The club, the HCEG, has not always been quartered at
Muirfield. After many years at short, historic courses at Leith
in Edinburgh, and then at Musselburgh just east of the city, in
1891 the club moved to a new 18-hole course built for them
twenty miles east of Edinburgh. The club hired the great Old Tom
Morris to design and build their new Muirfield course just
northeast of the village of Gullane on a parcel of undeveloped
links land. A product of golf's first great course building
boom, Muirfield was the new track along this part of what would
become Scotland's "Golf Coast", across the village from the
existing Gullane Course #1 and four miles southwest of the great
West Links at North Berwick. Old Tom received a lot of criticism
for his design, and another of the great course designers of
history, Harry Colt, revamped Muirfield in the mid-1920s. After
120-plus years only one original Old Tom Morris green has
survived, but Harry Colts work remains largely unchanged,
although equipment evolution in the game has forced some course
modifications, including a subtle but extensive makeover 2008-2013 by current
top course designer Martin Hawtree.
looking WEST ACROSS MUIRFIELD, PAST GULLANE AND BEYOND EDINBURGH
toward THE SOURCE OF THE FORTH RIVER IN THE MOUNTAINS of CENTRAL
IN EAST LOTHIAN:
twenty-two courses (including three 18-hole courses at
and the still venerated
North Berwick West Links)
line the East Lothian county coast extending from Musselburgh
just east of Edinburgh along the Firth of Forth to North Berwick
and then southeast along the North Sea to Dunbar.
North across the Firth of Forth, the inlet
of the North Sea that leads west to
and the mouth of the River Forth, is the Fife coast, home of a
collection of great Scottish links courses, including
ST. ANDREWS BAY,
and Scotland's number one course
THE OLD COURSE at
Muirfield is usually listed among the top ten
courses in the world, and often within the top five. With St. Andrews Old Course
in Fife, and
Dornoch in Sutherland in
northeastern Scotland, Muirfield is usually ranked among the top-three courses in Scotland.
THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP AT
THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP BRINGS THE WORLD TO MUIRFIELD, MANY OF US
TO THE 18TH HOLE.
HOST COURSE FOR
THE OPEN: Muirfield, the home of the
Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers has hosted 16 British Open
Championships since 1892, one year after opening. When the HCEG departed
Musselburgh for Muirfield, it took its place in the rotation as
host for the Open Championship to the new course, leaving some
hard feelings behind at Musselburgh. When The Open Championship
first came to Muirfield its format changed to four 18-hole
rounds over four days, replacing the former 2x18-hole rounds
over 2 days, or 3x12-hole rounds over 3 days tradition. In
Muirfield's first Open Championship, English amateur Harold
Hilton won by three strokes over the field, posting a 305 for
the 72 holes, an average of more than 76 shots per round for the
winner. Since then, a pantheon of great golfers has won Open
Championships at Muirfield: Harry Vardon (1896), James Braid (1901,
Ted Ray (1912, with Vardon and Braid finishing 2nd and 3rd), Walter Hagen
(1929), Alf Perry (1935), Henry Cotton (1948), Gary Player
(1959), Jack Nicklaus (1966), Lee
Trevino (1972), Tom Watson (whose record 271 was set in 1980), Nick Faldo (1987,
1992), Ernie Els (whose 2002 victory required a 4-way play-off,
and Phil Mickelson, whose charge of 4 birdies in the last 6
holes on Sunday won the Open Championship in 2013, the 16th time
that the Open has been played on the historic Muirfield links.
THE HONOURABLE COMPANY OF EDINBURGH GOLFERS
Duncur Road, Gullane, East Lothian,
Scotland EH31 2EG
Tel: (+44) (0) 1620 842 123
Fax: (+44) (0) 1620 842 977
Visitors Welcome Tuesdays
& Thursdays (except
Maximum Handicap: 18. Certification of handicap required.
Minimum Age: 16 years old.
Advance tee times required.
Course Open & Playable Year Round except
by exceptional weather.
Two golf carts available only for those unable
LENGTH & PAR: 18 Holes,
Championship Tees: 7,245 yards, Par 71, SSS 73
6,728 yards, Par 70, SSS 73
5,980 yards, Par 76, SSS 73
Summer (Mid-March through Mid-November):
Winter (Mid-November through Mid-March):
Golf Cart (Buggy): £35/round; reserve
in advance for impaired walkers only.
Pull Cart (Trolley): £5.
Club Rental: Yes reserve in
Caddies available: £40/caddy,
pre-gratuity. Request at least 1 day in advance.
Practice Putting Green.
Practice Areas including Driving Range.
Clubhouse with Restaurant & Bar.
Morning coffee, lunch, and afternoon tea
are available to visitors by advance reservation. Dress code and
restrictions apply. Inquire at time of booking.
Visitors' Lockers, showers, towels both genders.
BOOKING OF TEE TIMES
(required in advance):
Tel: (+44) (0)1620 842 123
(0)1620 842 977
Card information necessary to hold booking. 100% of greens fee
charged to your credit card to secure your tee-time booking.
CANCELLATIONS & NO-SHOWS:
Cancellations without penalty of existing bookings
outside of 28 days prior to play. Cancellations suffer a
100% green fee penalty
unless tee-time is successfully resold. No-shows (without notice of cancellation)
are penalized 100% of greens fees.
HOME AT FIRST make your tee-time reservations
at Muirfield Golf Course as part of your
next trip to Scotland. There is no service fee for this service!
The course is 20 miles east
of central Edinburgh, Scotland. Take the Edinburgh Ring Road
signposted A1 east in the direction of Berwick. Exit the A1 onto the A198 northeast for
North Berwick. Continue on the A198 through the small town of Gullane. On
the east end of Gullane, turn left onto Duncur Road, the last road on the left
before leaving Gullane. Follow Duncur Road north to Muirfield Golf Course.
HOME AT FIRST LODGINGS:
Edinburgh, about 30-40 minutes west
of the course.
Near St. Andrews, Fife, eastern Scotland, about 90 minutes north
In Melrose, in the
about 90 minutes south of the course.
Central Scotland (various
locations), about 2.5-3 hours west of Muirfield.
More information about
SCOTLAND travel program.
OTHER REGIONAL COURSES OF
private links courses dating from 1882 with Number
1 being the
prize usually appearing on
top 20 lists of Scottish golf courses. Visitors are welcome on No. 1 with
handicap certification (24/men; 30/women), and on Nos.
& 3 without restriction. Many visitors enjoy
Gullane as a similar course to
distractions and for much less cost. On the
west side of Gullane village 20
miles east of Edinburgh.
North Berwick West Links:
Considered one of the most scenic courses in
Scotland, appreciated for
several memorable holes, and a British Open qualifying
course whenever the Open
Championship is played at nearby Muirfield. When
compared with other better
known courses in the region, North Berwick can be
considered a challenging, value
golfing experience. On the coast by North
Berwick, 4 miles NE of
Muirfield, North Berwick is a top-ten Scottish course and
among the oldest in the world
still using its original site.
Musselburgh Links: The Old Course that the Honourable
Company of Edinburgh
Golfers left perhaps
dishonourably, if an old grudge is to be believed for
Muirfield, still thrives. With
a history documented to 1672 and by reputation to
1567 when Mary, Queen of Scots,
played a round (not around) here, the ancient
Musselburgh nine has changed
little since its halcyon days when it hosted The
Open Championship six times
between 1860 and 1892, when The Open, along
with the HCEG, moved to the new
18-hole course at Muirfield. Located at
Musselburgh just east of
Edinburgh. Greens fees are minor, unless you opt to
play the course with the
optional hickory shaft clubs you may rent at a premium.
Company of Edinburgh Golfers is recognized as the worlds oldest golf
club. They held
their first meeting on Leith Links
in 1744. At that time Leith was a small fishing
on the Firth of Forth only
Old Tom Morris: legendary
whose legend lives
in his many great course
designs that continue
His design of the
original 18 holes at Muirfield,
is largely gone, falling
to a great re-design by
S Colt in the mid-1920s.
five miles from Edinburgh, later becoming the main seaport for the city. In
1744, the first 13 rules of golf were drafted by a committee of the
Gentlemen Golfers of Edinburgh, which became known as the Honourable
Company of Edinburgh Golfers. A few years later these same rules were
adopted verbatim by the golfers at St. Andrews across the firth, at the
worlds oldest golf course still in use.
The expansion of Edinburgh forced the
Honourable Company to retreat eastward in 1836 to its second 9-hole public course at
Musselburgh. Ultimately overcrowding at Musselburgh brought about a decision to develop a
private club at Muirfield in 1891.
HE COURSE: Muirfield is a traditional Scottish
links located on the south shore of the Firth of
Forth, looking north to the hills of Fife (near
Andrews). Nearby are other notable links
courses at Gullane, and (four miles to the
Muirfield is usually listed among the top ten
courses in the world, and often in the top five. It is forever linked with
St. Andrews Old Course and
Dornoch as one of the top-three courses in Scotland.
The home of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh
Golfers, Muirfield was designed in 1891 by
Old Tom Morris and has hosted 16 British Open
Championships since 1892. Old Tom received a lot of
his design. After 120+ years only one original
Old Tom Morris green has survived. Muirfield is now very much the result
of Harry Colts work in the mid-1920s, with some modern adjustment by
Martin Hawtree between 2008-1013.
Harry Colt's Muirfield course is laid out
in to separate undulating loops the back nine holes inside the loop of the front
nine which ensures that the wind direction is redirected fairly during a round.
Although the course lacks both water hazards and trees, its thick rough and more
than 150 deep
bunkers add mightily to its considerable challenge resulting in its reputation as
"cruelly fair. Tom Watson has said there is "not a weak hole on the
course", and Jack Nicklaus, 1966 British Open winner at Muirfield, was so enamored
with it he named his golf complex in Ohio, Muirfield Village, after it.
HARRY S COLT. HIS REDESIGN OF
OLD TOM MORRIS'S 18 holes at Muirfield in
the mid-1920s MADE THE COURSE "CRUELLY FAIR" AND A WORLD-CLASS GOLF
THE COURSE & SOME NOTABLE HOLES
MUIRFIELD'S 18th HOLE, PAR
4, 473 YDS from the championship tees, #6 HANDICAP
Its length, narrowness, prevailing crosswind, and insidious greenside
to earn the 18th its reputation as one of the greatest finishing holes in
ack nicklaus says the first hole (450 yards, par 4)
"may be as tough an opening hole as there is anywhere in championship golf." One
of many large bunkers dominates the left of the fairway, which is narrow. Stray off it and
you are in severe rough. The green slopes from front to back.
The four par 3s may offer the greatest
challenge at Muirfield. Each
has tight, raised greens guarded by deep
bunkers, where the only escape routes are sideways or backwards. For
instance, the 193-yard 13th
runs uphill to a narrow green with deep bunkers on both sides you could spend the
whole round here. And the par-3 16th, (188 yards) is mined with seven bunkers
with the slope taking any shot played to the left side into the traps.
Muirfield demands accuracy everywhere, perhaps
most especially on the 469-yard par-4 6th which doglegs left to a split-level
fairway: your second shot must get close.
The 389-yard par-4 11th features the
only blind drive on the course, and its green is naturally surrounded by deep bunkers.
MUIRFIELD HOLE 3:
PAR 4, 379 YDS, #11 HANDICAP
Two precise shots are required: a drive to avoid bunkers that pinch the
fairway at 290 yards,
and a second shot over sentinel bunkers in front of the long,
green surrounded by ankle-high rough.
MUIRFIELD HOLE 9:
PAR 5, 558 YDS, #9 HANDICAP
THIS HOLE PLAYS LONGER THAN ITS MODERATE PAR-5 LENGTH WOULD NORMALLY
LINED INTO THE PREVAILING SOUTHWESTERLY WIND, THE HOLE'S NARROW FAIRWAY
WITH STRATEGICALLY PLACED BUNKERS, MENACING ROUGH, AND A LEFT-SIDE
MUIRFIELD HOLE 10:
PAR 4, 472 YDS, #4 HANDICAP
ANOTHER LONG PAR-4, THIS ONE SLIGHTLY UPHILL AND SLIGHTLY DOGLEGGED
PREVAILING WIND PUSHING SHOTS TOWARD RIGHT-SIDE BUNKERS
FAIRWAY AND GREEN.
A MID-FAIRWAY FURROW SOMEWHAT
OBSCURES THE GREEN, HIDING ITS BUNKERS
MUIRFIELD HOLE 13:
PAR 3, 193 YDS, #14 HANDICAP
A PRETTY PAR-3, UNTIL YOU SEE THE GREEN: NARROW, LONG, SLOPING, AND
GUARDED BY A GULLY IN THE LEFT-SIDE DUNE, AND BY BUNKERS LEFT AND RIGHT.
MUIRFIELD HOLE 15:
PAR 4, 447 YDS, #8 HANDICAP
A DOGLEG RIGHT INTO THE PREVAILING WIND SUGGESTS TEEING OFF WITH DRIVER.
BUT 7 FAIRWAY BUNKERS ARE READY TO INTERCEPT ERRANT DRIVES.
SIX GREEN-PROTECTING BUNKERS PUT A FURTHER PREMIUM ON ACCURACY HERE.
Although Scotland's old county if East Lothian is best known
many golf courses, there are other things worthy of visitors' attention. The region
is characterized by dramatic landscapes and seascapes. The coast attracts large
number of sea birds, and is the logical
home to the popular attraction,
the Scottish Seabird Centre as well as Scotland's National Museum of Flight (airplanes). East Lothian is
steeped in Scotland's history, culture, and traditions and offers
visitors castles, historic sites, and the Glenkinchie Distillery. Of
course, the closeness of neighboring Edinburgh Scotland's political,
historic, and cultural center puts some of Scotland's prime
attractions within reach of visitors to East Lothian.
SCOTLAND TO PLAY GOLF?
FIRST make your advance tee-times at
Muirfield and many other Scottish golf courses as part of your pre-reserved
FIRST offers independent, flexible, fly/drive travel to
Scotland and other great golfing destinations
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