Playing as it does in two loops, the layout at Muirfield on the edge of Gullane is unusual for a Scottish links

Muirfield Course Review

Green Fee Range: £110-£250

Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,728 Yards

Visitor Times: Tuesday and Thursday with tee times from 8:30-9:50 from the 1st and 10th tees

Website: www.muirfield.org.uk

Muirfield Course Review

The Open played out over this hallowed East Lothian turf in 2013 is testament to why Muirfield remains in the upper-echelons of our rankings.

Muirfield Course Review

In Phil Mickelson, yet another great name was etched on to the mighty Muirfield roll call, with the links, almost without exception, separating the men from the boys over the years.

Coincidence? Probably not – it just has a knack of asking questions only the very best can answer in the heat of battle.

For many, this is the fairest Open test of all, with everything laid out in front of you.

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.

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Muirfield Course Review

Take the 3rd – a short par 4 where you need to flirt with the left-hand rough for the ideal line in between the mounds. Too far right and you’ll be coming in semi-blind over the right-hand mound; too long and you’ll find yourself on one of the mounds.

And for those who claim Muirfield lacks views, the 5th hole at least rather confounds that, a sweeping par 5 with stirring views out over the Firth of Forth.

Admittedly, Muirfield doesn’t provide non-stop visual drama, but that may be a blessing in disguise, for you will undoubtedly need to focus on the task in hand to fathom out the mystery of the course.

Perhaps the greatest strength of Harry Colt’s ingenious routing is that nearly every hole stands in wonderful isolation, expertly thought out and beautifully framed.

Something making the layout at Muirfield so compelling is the fact that it runs, largely, in two loops.

The front nine is played clockwise around the outside and the back nine, in the centre, is basically played in an anti-clockwise circuit.

The constant shifting of direction means the wind has a different part to play on every single hole.

The design of Muirfield offers subtle excellence. No single hole will jump out and knock you over, but by the time you’ve finished you can remember the simple beauty and measured presentation of each one.

(Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

There are no weak links on this wonderfully fair golf course and all aspects of the game will have been examined by the time the final putt drops on the 18th.

Muirfield never fails to deliver and it’s largely because of the simply superb test that this historic and unique links presents.

In the 16 visits of The Open Championship, from 1892 to 2013, Muirfield has witnessed some of the competition’s most memorable moments, from Trevino’s chip-in victory of 1972 to Mickelson’s fabulous finish in 2013.

Course changes since previous ranking

None

Proposed course changes

None yet planned

Muirfield Course Review – Golf Monthly Verdict

Muirfield is a near-perfect links set across an exceptional stretch of golfing terrain where the routing, variety and conditioning are all of the very highest order.