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 HOME AT FIRST's

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GOLF CLUBS IN—


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— Center of the Golfing Universe —

Muirfield Golf Course

MUIRFIELD, GULLANE, EAST LOTHIAN, SCOTLAND

Muirfield is 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.                                                                                                               Photos courtesy Muirfield HCEG.

 

M

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 year

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 Colt’s 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 SCOTLAND.

 

 NEIGHBORS IN EAST LOTHIAN:  Today, some twenty-two courses (including three 18-hole courses at Gullane 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.

 NEIGHBORS ACROSS THE FIRTH:  North across the Firth of Forth, the inlet of the North Sea that leads west to EDINBURGH and the mouth of the River Forth, is the Fife coast, home of a collection of great Scottish links courses, including ELIE, LEVIN, KINGSBARNS, ST. ANDREWS BAY, and Scotland's number one course THE OLD COURSE at ST. ANDREWS.

 RARIFIED AIR:  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 Royal Dornoch in Sutherland in northeastern Scotland, Muirfield is usually ranked among the top-three courses in Scotland.

THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP AT MUIRFIELD

 

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, 1906), 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.


 

MUIRFIELD Golf COURSE

LOCATION:
MUIRFIELD — 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
e-mail: hceg@muirfield.org.uk
WEBSITE

Visitors Welcome Tuesdays & Thursdays (except holidays)
• 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 to walk.

LENGTH & PAR: 18 Holes, Par 71
     • White Championship Tees: 7,245 yards, Par 71, SSS 73
    •• Red/Yellow Tees: 6,728 yards, Par 70, SSS 73
     • Blue Tees: 5,980 yards, Par 76, SSS 73

GREENS FEES:
•
Summer (Mid-March through Mid-November):
£200/round.
• Winter (Mid-November through Mid-March): £110/round.
   
Currency Converter

FACILITIES:
•
Golf Cart (Buggy):
£35/round; reserve in advance for impaired walkers only.
• Pull Cart (Trolley):
£5.
•
Club Rental:
Yes — reserve in advance.
• 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 other
   restrictions apply. Inquire at time of booking.
• Visitors' Lockers, showers, towels — both genders.
• Pro Shop

BOOKING OF TEE TIMES (required in advance):

Tel: (+44) (0)1620 842 123

Fax: (+44) (0)1620 842 977

E-mail: hceg@muirfield.org.uk

ON-LINE — Credit 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.

Let 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!

DIRECTIONS: 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.

NEAREST HOME AT FIRST LODGINGS:
• In Edinburgh, about 30-40 minutes west of the course.
• Near St. Andrews, Fife, eastern Scotland, about 90 minutes north of Muirfield.
• In Melrose, in the Scottish Borders, about 90 minutes south of the course.
• In Central Scotland (various locations), about 2.5-3 hours west of Muirfield.
More information about
HOME AT FIRST's SCOTLAND travel program.

OTHER REGIONAL COURSES OF NOTE:

• Gullane: Three 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.
2 & 3 without restriction. Many visitors enjoy Gullane as a similar course to
the
neighboring Muirfield
without the 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.


 

 

H

ISTORY: The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers is recognized as the world’s oldest golf club. They held their first meeting on Leith Links in 1744. At that time Leith was a small fishing village on the Firth of Forth only

Old Tom Morris: legendary Scottish golf champion whose legend lives vitally in his many great course designs that continue relatively untouched today. His design of the original 18 holes at Muirfield, however, is largely gone, falling victim to a great re-design by Harry S Colt in the mid-1920s.
Old Tom Morris: legendary Scottish golf champion
whose legend lives vitally
in his many great course
designs that continue
relatively untouched today.
His design of the original 18 holes at Muirfield, however,
is largely gone, falling victim
to a great re-design by Harry
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 world’s 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.

 

T

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 St.
Andrews). Nearby are other notable links
courses at Gullane, and (four miles to the east)

North Berwick.
          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 Royal 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

criticism for his design. After 120+ years only one original Old Tom Morris green has survived. Muirfield is now very much the result of Harry Colt’s 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 COURSE.


THE COURSE & SOME NOTABLE HOLES

#18

MUIRFIELD'S 18th HOLE, PAR 4, 473 YDS from the championship tees, #6 HANDICAP
Its length, narrowness, prevailing crosswind, and insidious greenside bunkers combine
 to earn the 18th its reputation as one of the greatest finishing holes in golf.

j

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 3’s 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.

#3

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,
uphill green surrounded by ankle-high rough.

#9

 

MUIRFIELD HOLE 9: PAR 5, 558 YDS, #9 HANDICAP
THIS HOLE PLAYS LONGER THAN ITS MODERATE PAR-5 LENGTH WOULD NORMALLY WARRANT.
LINED INTO THE PREVAILING SOUTHWESTERLY WIND, THE HOLE'S NARROW FAIRWAY IS FRAUGHT
WITH STRATEGICALLY PLACED BUNKERS, MENACING ROUGH, AND A LEFT-SIDE OUT-OF-BOUNDS.

#10

MUIRFIELD HOLE 10: PAR 4, 472 YDS, #4 HANDICAP
ANOTHER LONG PAR-4, THIS ONE SLIGHTLY UPHILL AND SLIGHTLY DOGLEGGED RIGHT,
WITH THE PREVAILING WIND PUSHING SHOTS TOWARD RIGHT-SIDE BUNKERS
ALONG THE FAIRWAY AND GREEN. A MID-FAIRWAY FURROW SOMEWHAT
OBSCURES THE GREEN, HIDING ITS BUNKERS FROM VIEW.

#13

 

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.

#15

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.

 

 

T

HE REGION: Although Scotland's old county if East Lothian is best known

for its 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.


TRAVELING TO SCOTLAND TO PLAY GOLF?
Let
HOME AT FIRST make your advance tee-times at Muirfield and many other Scottish golf courses as part of your pre-reserved Scotland trip itinerary. HOME AT FIRST offers independent, flexible, fly/drive travel to Scotland and other great golfing destinations in the British Isles. There’s no extra charge for this service.

MORE RESOURCES:
     • Golf in Scotland
    
• Home At First's travel programs to:
         EDINBURGH  • SCOTLAND BORDERS  • CENTRAL SCOTLAND

Want to learn about other courses throughout the British Isles
including some of the greatest tests of golf in the world? See our
IRELAND, SCOTLAND, ENGLAND, and WALES
Course Guides for more information.

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