Two Easy Ways to Score One of Golf's Toughest Tee Times: Muirfield

The 2013 Open Championship site, Muirfield, is considered one of the ten best golf courses in the world.

And you can play it.

That said, most people find it challenging to score a tee time, and all accolades heaped on it only makes it tougher, but here are two easy ways to get on:

Method #1: Book Early with the Aid of Muirfield's Website
Muirfield has a limited number of standing tee times available for outside play on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but, as you can imagine, competition is keen for these slots; they're sometimes booked months or even a year in advance.

The good news is, you can check availability at the club's website (muirfield.org.uk), and if you do it early enough, you'll have a very good chance of getting your preferred time.

And here's another major advantage of booking directly with the club: you'll have the option of playing 36 holes with Muirfield's infamous "lunch" in between.

After your morning round, you put on your jacket (the one men are required to arrive in), sit at the club's long, community tables (often alongside members), and tuck into an all-world feast that begins with soup, moves to sirloin of beef or fillet of pork en croute, then ends with a wide variety of sweets and cheeses.

After that, you head back out for an afternoon round of alternate shot. The overall experience is, in a word, unforgettable.

The only downside of booking directly with the club is, you'll have to nail down other aspects of your travel plans in advance, too, which can be equally challenging.

Method #2: Book a Room at the Greywalls Hotel
If you're not the "plan ahead" type, you can still secure a tee time at Muirfield by being a guest of Greywalls (greywalls.co.uk), the 25-room, boutique hotel that sits behind the 10th tee.

Greywalls guests can secure tee times outside the general Tuesday/Thursday visitor pool because the hotel has its own private tee sheet slots on certain Friday afternoons and Monday mornings.

There aren't a ton of them, to be sure, but if the online tee times are no longer available, this is another way on...and it's not like you'll be roughing it.

According to the editors of Golf Odyssey, "Greywalls is the embodiment of Edwardian charm. For as long as we've been heading across the pond, it's been our favorite accommodation in the Muirfield realm. It's cozy and intimate, and you feel like you're staying at a house rather than a hotel."

(Just be sure to inquire about the size of your room before booking; some are quite small.)

The other big draw at Greywalls is its restaurant, Chez Roux, run by Albert Roux, a star chef best known for the Michelin two-star La Gavroche in London.

The downside of going the Greywalls route to play Muirfield is this: if you don't play on a Tuesday or Thursday, it's golf only. You don't get access to clubhouse and the epic lunch feast, which many feel is the "total experience."

Have you played Muirfield? Planning on it?

Please share your thoughts or read what others are saying below.

Craig Better is one of the founding editors of Golf Vacation Insider. In addition to traveling to 15 foreign countries, he has twice traveled across America to play golf courses in all 50 United States. Prior to joining Golf Vacation Insider, Craig was a freelance writer who contributed to GOLF Magazine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Maxim Magazine, USAToday.com, and co-authored Zagat Survey’s book, America’s Top Golf Courses.
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Two Easy Ways to Score One of Golf's Toughest Tee Times: Muirfield
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