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In discussion: Should single-sex clubs be allowed to exist?

Number 1: Muirfield

The venue for the 2013 Open Championship.
 

County: East Lothian

Designers: Old Tom Morris/Colt/Simpson

What to expect: Muirfield is by no means spectacular. The sea is at a distance, there is little in the way of dunes and the ground is relatively even for the most part. 

The bunkers are not the deepest, the course is not the longest nor is there any one hole that embodies it. And that is exactly why Muirfield is the best. It is simply one supreme hole after the next, all the way from start to finish. Every part of your game will be tested and it is virtually impossible to pick fault with any aspect of the playing experience.

Muirfield excels in its consistency – and that is why the great players praise it universally. Muirfield excels in its consistency – and that is why the great players praise it universally.

Why it’s special: To stand on the 1st tee, looking at the gentle curve of the fairway to the right, the tall grasses on either side shimmering in the breeze, must be one of golf’s greatest pleasures. 

For a links course, Muirfield is pristine, and the same is true of a peerless design that never stops posing demanding questions. 

Its famous choreography sees the front nine run in a circular sweep around the perimeter, returning to that famous red-roofed clubhouse in time for an inward loop that is exactly that. 

The result of this ingenious design is that you never play more than three consecutive holes in the same direction. The angles are constantly changing and so too is the wind, and that is what makes Muirfield such a formidable and complete test.

Read our full review here

Tom Irwin

Tom Irwin

Tom is a lifetime golfer, now over 30 years playing the game. 2023 marks 10 years in golf publishing and he is still holding down a + handicap at Alwoodley in Leeds. He has played over 600 golf courses, and has been a member of at least four including his first love Louth, in Lincolnshire. Tom likes unbranded clothing, natural fibres, and pencil bags. Seacroft in Lincolnshire is where it starts and ends.

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