I played Muirfield for the first time 7/9/17. As you read my review know that I am comparing this course against others in its class and not your local average muni. I am also grading it against its price tag to play. I have played about 40 top 100 clubs on this list, all of the Open venues and roughly 40 top 100 from the USA. I am a student and a fanatic of great golf course architecture. I am giving the course a rating of "Good" because of the price and for the lack of variety in the course design.
Muirfield is an interesting review. There is nothing about the course that will blow you away, there is no pro shop, no golf pros on site, and yet it is still a special place from an experience standpoint.
From the moment you arrive you are greeted by a friendly staff member who will advise you where to park and will offer you a shuttle ride down the driveway to the club. The entrance gate to Muirfield has to be one of the best in all of golf albeit a very odd set up for a club. You park "off site", travel 40 yards down a neighborhood road to reach the club gate. There is no grand entrance as you drive up. From there I was greeted by one of the staters who again was very welcoming and friendly (as was the entire staff).
First off I want to say that Muirfield from an experience perspective should be on everyones must play list but only if you stay for lunch and play the foursomes in the afternoon. It is a rare experience and one that 99% of American won't find at home. The course isn't worth the money but the day long experience is worth it at least once in your lifetime. The clubhouse is worth a look around at all of the history and artifacts.
As for the course, it is relatively flat all the entire way around, don't expect sand dunes here or big undulation changes. It is probably the fairest of the links courses I have ever played because it is so flat, if you hit to the right area you will be rewarded for plotting your way around, no bad bounces. Because of this some might say the course is boring and uninteresting. Tremendous bunkering throughout the course, they're beautiful, deep, penal and they are everywhere! There is an old stone wall that encloses three side of the course and comes into play on about 4 holes. The rough at muirfield is among the worst you will find anywhere, off the fairway is dead or lost. The greens were the best I have encountered in all my times playing in this part of the world, they rolled about a 9+ and were "tour" smooth. I took a caddie and he was nice enough but would have been better had he been trained to be more like a pro caddie given they require top pay for their work. Not once did he clean my ball, not once in the rain did he wipe dry my grips or the shafts before placing them back into my bag, I think proper training is lacking. Other than that my caddie was a good guy to spend 4 hours with.
My overall impression of the course is that it is very nice but a bit mundane, lacks any real variety in hole design, doesn't have any heroic do or die shots, most holes do allow for an easy run up shot, the first three par 3's are basically all the same which is uneventful, hole 11 (being that it is the worst on the course) needs to be dug up and rebuilt. Some of my favorite holes are 6-9 and 12-16 and of course 18.
Date: September 11, 2017