Muirfield Links, Scotland

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Muirfield is a kind of a golf living legend, it is hard to say which is more famous, the golf course or the golf club. Muirfield is the home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, records date back to 1744 when the Club wrote the original 13 Rules of Golf, before the establishment of the Club in Muirfield in 1891 their members used to golf in Leith and Musselburgh. Overlooking the Firth of Forth, the estuary of Scotland’s River Forth, the Muirfield links was first designed by Old Tom Morris but altered substantially in 1928 when the club purchased additional land and employed Harry Colt to rearrange the links into its current form.

The course layout features a clockwise outward nine that circles an anti-clockwise inward 9, so the wind directions changes for golfers throughout their round. Muirfield is perhaps the fairest test of a golfer’s ability to play links golf, punishing rough awaits any errant shots but the best players will thrive. Colt designed his holes with some of the most brutal bunkers in Britain; initially the layout had around two hundred traps that were significantly reduced a few years later following a suggestion of Tom Simpson.

The course begins with a right-bending par four that in every way sets the tone for the round, thread the eye of a needle off the tee or approach the green with your third. Better moments to follow include strategically bunkered par fours at the 6th and 8th, the long 9th which heads along an out of bounds stone wall, the gorgeous short 13th and one of the sternest closing runs in the game. The real highlight of Muirfield, though, is the bunkering and the contouring of the green surrounds. The 3rd green, set attractively between the dunes, is a stunning example as are beautifully protected targets at 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 15 and 16.

Muirfield Links has been consistently rated amongst the top ten in the world, host to 11 Amateur Championships and 15 Open Championships this challenging test of links golf will once again be the venue for the British Open Championship in 2013.