Muirfield Golf Club, in Gullane, Scotland is just a short 24 minute train ride from Edinburgh Waverly station. Make sure you get off in Drem and pre-arrange a taxi for 10 minute drive north to Muirfield. As you arrive outside the iron gates you will be picked up by a staff member who will quickly take you by golf cart inside the hallowed grounds of the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.
Muirfield doesn’t usually get high marks for its scenery, but for my money, it is one of the most breathtaking courses in all of Scotland. The reason I give Muirfield such high marks for beauty is because it’s one of the very few links courses where you can see the entire course directly in front of you as soon as you enter. Muirfield gradually slopes up and away from the clubhouse and provides a simple but stunning panoramic view of nearly the entire grounds.
As you enter the clubhouse you can feel the history surrounding you but there isn’t a lot of time to stop and take it all in because at Muirfield you quickly get the sense that you are lucky to be here and the clock is running. While Muirfield is definitely stuffy, it doesn’t put a damper on the experience. I imagine it is the same type of feeling you would have if you were fortunate to get an invite to Augusta National.
Muirfield Golf Club in East Lothian, Scotland
At Muirfield, things move at a rapid pace, there is no lounging around slowly exploring the clubhouse and other parts of the grounds. The staff is professional and moves guests through the experience at a fast clip. I never felt any sense of rudeness, but the club means business from the minute you enter the gates until you exit them.
I played Muirfield as a single on a rainy day in mid-October. Very little wind but a steady light rain that made the course very tough. Muirfield is one the most difficult course in Scotland. Carnoustie has the reputation of being the hardest course in Scotland, but to me it wasn’t as difficult as Muirfield. Where at Carnoustie you can miss fairways and still be okay, at Muirfield if you miss the fairway you are dead. Closest thing I can compare the rough to is California’s famous sea kelp but above water. I found myself in it too many times and it takes everything you have to advance your ball, if you can even locate it. Muirfield is about much more than the golf. It is about experiencing the game in its earliest and truest form and how it is supposed to be played.
If you visit Muirfield, you simply have to enjoy the lunch experience at the end of your round. If you just come for a quick round of golf and don’t take part in the full experience, you wil,l unfortunately, miss what makes Muirfield so incredibly special.
After finishing 18 you head back into the old locker room, shower, and put on a coat and tie for lunch in the dining room adjacent to the locker room. When you first enter the room you are asked what kind of adult beverage you would like before making your way to either of the two long tables where visitors from around the world dine with members who have been a part of Muirfield for generations. It is the single greatest day of golf in my lifetime and one I will remember forever.