Scotland – Muirfield Golf Club

The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers was founded in Leith in 1744, later move to Musselburgh and finally in 1891 to Muirfield in East Lothian. Initially golf was played on 16 holes laid out by Old Tom Morris and was extended to 18 holes for the Open the following year. This was the first year that the Open Championship was played over 72 holes. In 1923, a further 50 acres were secured to the north of the course. Renowned course designer Harry Colt was consulted and his recommendations effectively produced the layout as it is today. After this the Muirfield course stood shoulder to shoulder with the best in the world. Apart from Tom Simpson’s re-modelling of the 13th hole in 1935, the only notable changes since then have been the provision of new tees to combat improvements in equipment.
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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 counterclockwise. 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.
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Muirfield has hosted The Open Championship sixteen times, most recently in 2013 when Phil Mickelson lifted the trophy. Other past winners at Muirfield include Ernie Els, Nick Faldo (twice), Tom Watson, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. Muirfield has also hosted The Amateur Championship (ten times), the Senior British Open (which Tom Watson won in 2007) and the Ryder Cup in 1973.