In the run-up to this year’s Open, the weather hasn’t exactly been amazing across Britain, and it was no different at Muirfield, with the conditions delaying growth, although the rough finally started emerging around mid-may.
Luckily, the weather hasn’t put off the infrastructure at all, and they are in very good shape in that respect.
Peter believes that the only real issue as far as logistics are concerned is hotel accommodation. He said, “A lot more renting of houses goes on here than at many venues.”
According to Peter, Muirfield sits in the middle of the pecking order as far as ticket sales are concerned, with a crowd of 160,000 to 170,000 expected at this event, which is what the team is aiming for.
Apparently, Muirfield is very popular with the players, with the layout being praised, and also the fact that what you see is what you get, unlike many other courses.
Peter commented on the holes, remarking, “From the 13th hole onwards it’s very testing, depending on which way the wind is blowing,” and that “the 18th, with the possible exception of Carnoustie, is the toughest last hole we have.”
The most noticeable change since 2002 is on the 9th hole, where the tee has gone back, and a new bunker has been added on the right.
With respect to enhancing the experience, there have been four electronic scoreboards added- three on par 3s and one on the 17th, and they are experimenting with a WiFi network in the grandstands.
Peter says that there is still debate about whether or not the new back tee on the 4th hole will be used or not, but mentioned that “it’s there and we might use both tees depending on the wind dirction.”