Muirfield is recognised as one of the oldest golf clubs in the world, with records dating back to 1744. Golf has been played at Muirfield since 1891 on a course laid out by ‘Old’ Tom Morris, and the first Open Championship to be played over 72 holes was held here in 1892. The course has been modified from time to time and ranks as one of the most challenging ‘Open’ venues. Muirfield is different to most traditional Scottish Links Courses in that it has two loops of 9 holes, rather than the usual out and in format.
Muirfield has an unusual layout for a links course Most links courses run along the coast and then back again leading to two sets of nine holes, the holes in each set facing roughly in the same direction. Muirfield, however, was among the first courses to depart from this arrangement and is arranged as two loops of nine holes, one clockwise, one anticlockwise. This means that, assuming the wind direction remains the same throughout a round, every hole on the course has a different apparent wind direction from the tee. No more than three consecutive holes follow the same direction at any stage.
The challenge relies on clever design rather than gimmickry, with your fate lying almost entirely in your own hands – find the right place and you will be rewarded; find the wrong spot and things get tougher by degrees.