Muirfield is home to The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which has existed since 1744, when the company wrote golf's original 13 rules for the Silver Club's first competition. Back then, the company played Leith Links's five holes, but moved 92 years later to the nine-hole Old Course at Musselburgh and finally to Muirfield in 1891. Muirfield holds the honor of being the only golf course to host the Open Championship (15 times, most recently in 2002), the Amateur, the Mid Amateur, the Ryder Cup Matches, the Walker Cup and the Curtis Cup.
"Architecturally it is a gem," well-known golf architect Donald Steel has said of Muirfield. "A clockwise outward half encases an anti-clockwise inward nine, an arrangement that ensures that player have to make incessant adjustment for wind direction. Jack Nicklaus liked what he saw so much that he named what he considers his home course after it. In terms of producing the best champions it has an impeccable record."
Don't fret if you aren't successful in scoring a peak-season tee time: Muirfield offers ideal year-round playing conditions and doesn't employ wintertime temporary tees or greens.
|White M: 76.0/130||450||367||379||229||561||469||187||445||558||3645||472||389||382||193||478||447||188||578||473||3600||7245|
|Red or Yellow M: 74.0/122||446||365||377||182||510||440||147||443||505||3415||470||354||380||156||449||394||186||506||418||3313||6728|
|Teal W: 72.0/120||404||338||336||136||463||399||131||419||454||3080||416||315||356||133||395||362||139||460||324||2900||5980|
Play At The Risk Of Theft
I recently returned from a one-week golfing tour of Scotland during which my group of eight golfers played five wonderful golf courses and one uninteresting layout that came with terrible customer service and an unbelievable caddie scam about which management permits to exist.
That disappointing experience came at the famed Muirfield Golf Links. Allow me to explain what happened.
Upon arrival at Muirfield, we were greeted at the point that our vehicle was allowed to go no further and our bags were loaded into a cart and taken down to the first tee area, to which we walked. We were then met by George and George, two proper Scots who explained the procedures of the day, and then sent us to the dump of a locker room to hang up our jackets and ties (required for lunch in the clubhouse which in and of itself was not worth the very high price that they charge to “taste” history in an ordinary buffet), put on our shoes, and head to the practice area. We were even presented with a sleeve of Pro V-1’s as a gift since the clubhouse was under repair and had scaffolding and other construction equipment in and on it.
So far, everything was clicking on all cylinders.
Then came the golf.
My caddie, purportedly named Paul, and supposedly a retired university professor in “co-incidentally” a field very similar to my business, was a good caddie, chatting me up around the course and giving me good instruction as to where to hit the ball, where to putt the ball, etc.
The very unattractive and disappointing condition of the course itself was a bummer, but I figured that I would be able to say that I had played Muirfield. Boy do I wish I couldn’t say that now.
During the round, my caddie distracted me with conversation at some point while another caddie rummaged through my golf bag and stole 60 pounds from my money clip. Or my caddie just did it himself. How did I know that it was 60 pounds? Not only had I put 60 pounds more than the caddie fee and standard tip in my money clip (that I had put in my bag for convenience at the first tee), but the sneaky thieves left me exactly the amount of the caddie fee plus standard tip, knowing that if they had taken it all, I would have had no doubt of the theft and called the police, and presuming that I would not be positive of how much money had been taken or that I would have questioned myself as to how much money I had brought to the course that day.
Well I noticed the missing money immediately and when I asked my caddie where my 20 pound notes had gone, he did not respond. Thinking that if a caddie in Scotland would steal from a guest, he certainly wouldn’t hesitate to stick a knife in one either, so I paid him my remaining money which he had so graciously left me and off he went.
I called our tour agency and let them know what had happened, and they got in touch with Muirfield with the name and a full description of the caddie for their investigation. They “investigated” by asking the caddie if he had taken the money. What do you think he said? Certainly not that he had stolen the money or been in on a scam with his pal who took it.
Needless to say, a caddie is far more important to Muirfield for future revenue purposes than is making every guest’s visit pleasantly memorable.
When it was time to go back up the hill to the bus loading area, we asked if the staff that brought them down in a card would carry our clubs back up top, and the answer was, “We don’t do that in the afternoon.”
When I described the issues that I encountered to Muirfield’s chief administrator by email, the arrogant response that I received made it clear as to why we were welcomed onto the property and then ignored and mistreated by his staff.
I have been told by the staff at two of the other courses that we played that Muirfield has a reputation for a poor customer experience, so clearly my group is not the only one to have voiced their disappointment with Muirfield.
So as far as I am concerned, Muirfield Golf Links should truly be famous for a caddie scam and total customer DIS-service, as well as being an uninteresting course in need of maintenance. I give the course a 2 on a scale of 10, and the overall experience a 1.
I have never heard of any caddie stealing from a golfers bag during play. This sort of action would never be tolerated at any course in Scotland. You are also moaning about having to carry your clubs a few feet, you should not be playing golf if you are not capable of carrying your clubs a few feet, do you need someone to wipe your rear end also! I have heard through the grapevine that your playing partners questioned if you did in fact have the money with you that you say was stolen! You may be in receipt of a lawyers letter regarding these serious accusations.