Normally this is a course you need to book well in advance to secure tee times as guests. The course is open to non member guests Tuesdays and Thursdays. We played the course in August 2020 where we were able to get a tee times a couple of weeks before a quick golftrip to Scotland. The course had just opened after lockdown and as overseas travelling was very limited they had availabe tee times.
We stayed at Greywalls hotel located next door to the golf course. We had stayed there before during another golftrip to Scotland but did not play Muirfield. It is a very elegant country house hotel with a lot of history and a good experience. They have rooms with views of the golf course which is where we spent the night. A breathtaking morning view especially as we had fantastic weather conditions.
We had booked 36 holes including the renowned lunch. It was a bright sunny day and we could not wait to get on the golf course. We had the first tee time for guests and hit a few golf balls on the range prior to tee off. We met a member who was playing the course for the first time after opening up from lockdown and he was playing in front of us with a few other members.
The opening hole is a par 4 and even though there is reasonable amount of space in the fairway it looks visually more narrow from the tee. As you can tell from the picture above the rough was looking high and it would turn out to be even more challenging then it looked.
The second hole is a par 4 and has some well placed bunkers protecting the green short. It is one of the shorter par 4s on the course but require a couple of well played shots to get on the green.
As you can see from above picture you walk up the mount for the 4th hole to some nice views.
The 4th hole is playing 166m and is well bunkered especially in the front of the green. The pin was located in the middle of the green and there is really not many good places to miss this green. A poor tee shot will take the ball into a bunker or run off down into the grass hollows.
The back nine
The 9th hole is a good par 4 and a decent birdie opportunity. You can reach the green if you find the fairway and avoid the well placed bunkers to right hand side.
The 11th hole is a blind tee shot and relatively short par 4. I hit driver trying to get close to the green but found a the fairway bunker as you can tell from above picture.
The 14th hole offers a nice view from an elavated tee. It is a tough par 4 and one of the longest on the course.
Th 16th hole is a good par 3 and has very limited landing area to stay on the green due to the contours. A challenging and tricky par 3.
Due to Covid-19 the usual Muirfield lunch experience had been adapted to suite the requirements. It was still a very nice experience. A good traditional meal in a place filled with history and atmosphere.
We could not have asked for a better day to play golf. It was perfect weather and the course was in great shape. The rough was the biggest challenge when we played. Apparently due to lockdown they had not been able to cut and maintain the rough as normal so it was playing very tough. A missed tee shot was almost certainly a lost ball and we lost many balls during the 1st round.
Muirfield is definitely a special place and everybody we met was part of creating a great overall experience. I can see the course being setup to play very difficult and especially in tough weather conditions. The course itself is good but it is not amongst the best I have played around the world. There are some well designed holes but personally I prefer some of the other great links courses like Royal County Down or North Berwick. However Muirfield is a most visit place for any golf enthusiast and a place that carriers so much history.