About 8 years ago I was lucky enough to play Muirfield with a fellow student friend who was a member of the HCEG. We played the week after a British Amateur event when the course was playing pretty tough! The fairways were between 10 and 20 yards wide, the carry to the narrow target was often 200 yards long and the rough…well if you put your clubs down you might loose them too! The wind was pretty lively too and after two birdies and many bogies and worse we drove back to Edinburgh feeling like we had been sucked in and spat out after 36 holes of golf. 2 weeks ago the same friend invited me back. I spent a week steeling myself for the experience but after 2 days golf there I felt slightly deflated. The course now plays much more easily: The fairways are all very wide, the rough has all been cut away and it now plays very fairly. I didn’t even loose a ball this time… in 72 holes of golf! To be honest though I was disappointed. I wanted to be challenged, to see how my golf stood up to the Muirfield Challenge.
Previously if you asked me where my favourite course is I’d have replied that Royal Birkdale was my choice but that Muirfield was by quite some distance the hardest. The club have removed the teeth of this wonderful course and although I still think that it is a wonderful course I no longer hold it in a venerable position in my mind’s eye. Do play it but try to do so with a member – it is fantastic value and the lunch alone (for £15.00) is worth the trip! If I had to pay the green fee in full then I’d probably turn east and head to North Berwick instead.
Date: May 04, 2007