Muirfield
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Muirfield
Muirfield remains one of the world's greatest major championship venues. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Images
Muirfield - hole 10
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Muirfield - hole 10
A caddie walks toward the 10th green at Muirfield. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - holes 5 and 11
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Muirfield - holes 5 and 11
Muirfield's fifth and 11th greens (left to right) overlook the Firth of Forth. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - rough
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Muirfield - rough
The knee-high rough is a major reason why Muirfield plays so demanding. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - hole 15
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Muirfield - hole 15
This C-shaped bunker is one of five surrounding the 15th green at Muirfield. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - hole 16
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Muirfield - hole 16
Seven sodwall bunkers like this one encircle the 16th green at Muirfield. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - hole 17
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Muirfield - hole 17
This deep crossbunker on the par-5 17th hole at Muirfield is called "coffin" by the caddies because "you're dead if you're in it." Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - hole 18
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Muirfield - hole 18
Muirfield's finishing holes sits just steps from the clubhouse. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - hole 3
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Muirfield - hole 3
Bunkers and dunes pinch the third green at Muirfield. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - grandstands
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Muirfield - grandstands
The grandstands on the 18th hole, seen here from near the third green, will be filled during the 2013 British Open. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - hole 4
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Muirfield - hole 4
Hitting the fourth green at Muirfield is always a chore, especially when the par 3 plays downwind. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - gates
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Muirfield - gates
Getting inside the gates to play Muirfield isn't easy. Visible is the flag at No. 18. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Muirfield - 9th
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Muirfield - 9th
A new tee has stretched the par-5 ninth hole at Muirfield to 556 yards. Beware of the wall up the entire left side. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Get mesmerized by Muirfield, a star of the Open Championship rota

GULLANE, East Lothian, Scotland -- Faldo. Els. Nicklaus. Watson. Trevino. Player.

A who's who of the World Golf Hall of Fame, right?

True, but this incredible collection of golf legends is also the list of champions who have won a British Open in the modern era at Muirfield , the treasured links that anchors Scotland's Golf Coast.

Muirfield, which will host the Open for the 16th time in July 2013, is widely regarded as the fairest of the nine courses in the rota. The mostly flat fairways don't punish good shots with bad bounces like some links and, therefore, doesn't tend to give up fluky one-off winners.

The 7,209-yard course has been lengthened by roughly 158 yards since the 2002 Open won by Ernie Els. Architect Martin Hawtree added seven new back tees (at holes 2, 4, 9, 14, 15, 17 and 18) and pinched a handful of bunkers closer to fairway landing zones and greens to "tighten up strategy," R&A Chief Executive Peter Dawson said.

A land swap with The Rennaissance Club next door stretched the ninth hole by 50 yards. The par 5 runs all along the stone wall that dictates out-of-bounds, the last of the five holes on the front side adjacent to these walls.

Most holes at Muirfield chaotically amble in all directions, never simply playing downwind or into it. Finding snaking fairways in cross winds, while avoiding knee-high rough and deep revetted bunkers, remains the only way to contend for the claret jug.

"You're unlikely to win an Open Championship at Muirfield from the rough," Dawson said.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
Related Links
Scotland's East Lothian region is Edinburgh's golfing coast. It is just a few miles east of the capital city and is home to more than 20 courses, including the Old Links at Musselburgh, the very influential North Berwick Golf Club, Gullane, Dunbar Golf Club, Kilspindie, Craigielaw and more. Here's a look at some of the area's top golf courses in pictures.
From East Lothian's historic coastal towns of Musselburgh to Dunbar, you're never far from a fabulous links golf course, not to mention a complementary 19th hole nearby. Here are some of East Lothian's best 19th holes ...
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Get mesmerized by Muirfield, a star of the Open Championship rota
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