Jack Nicklaus won the Open Championship in 1966 at Muirfield GC in Scotland, and when he came to name his design in Dublin, Ohio- he named it Muirfield Village after the historic Open venue. Muirfield Village opened in 1974 and was specifically designed and built to hold a major tournament in his home town of Columbus. Nicklaus was a big fan of The Masters and wanted to bring something similar to his home state.
The course was basically built as a stadium course with spectator vantage points on every hole. The course is known for immaculate presentation, and the combination of creeks and ponds with tight fairways, and 'in your face' bunkering, make it a challenge for any level of golfer. Although the back markers play off 7392 yards, with a slope rating of 155, there are multiple tees (6), albeit all with high slope ratings.
To cope with playing Muirfield Village you will need to hit reasonably accurate tee shots as creeks, bunkers, trees and rough can swallow your wayward shots. It is definitely not set up to be user friendly to those with slower swing speeds, or lower ball flights- approaches need to carry bunkers, creeks, and ponds- often to elevated greens. No respite is given on the beautifully manicured greens either- they can be quite slick.
Muirfield Village really is a championship layout, and takes no prisoners!
It was after all set up for the Memorial Tournament.
It is also absolutely drop dead gorgeous!
In season with the trees in bloom, blue skies above, the white sand of the bunkers, manicured greens of the greens and fairways, and glistening creeks and ponds- it is a heady combination...
It is said that Jack designed Muirfield Village using Augusta as the template- as a tournament venue, championship layout, and for the undoubted beauty of the site. In some ways Muirfield Village meets and exceeds that standard.
The closing holes are the toughest on tour, and while the strength of Augusta is the holes on Rae’s Creek (11, 12, 13, 15, 16) there are more holes featuring rocky creeks and lake carries at Muirfield Village- and while they may not quite have the outrageous beauty of the holes at Augusta, they are just as testing, and still very pretty.
I particularly liked the way the creeks work through the property, running along one side of the fairway, at times crossing the fairway once, or even twice. It is not a course to let up- you need to maintain your concentration to the last...
Muirfield Village is a very special golfing destination, one of the great championship courses in the world.
Please note that Muirfield Village GC is a private club and only accessible to members and their guests.
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