It’s hard to describe the aura around pulling up to Jack’s place to play a round. From someone who has been to Muirfield to watch the Memorial, there’s just a total different vibe around showing up to play rather than watch, especially receiving a “Do not ask for autographs on property” card as we entered the gates. Walking through the clubhouse, the players lockeroom, and lounge was incredible. Seeing all the pictures up of the famous people, players, and winners who have stopped by, or been associated with the club was inspiring.
Before play, we sat down to lunch in the grill, and if I’m being honest, I had the best chicken sandwich I’ve ever had (even topping Chik-Fil-A). Muirfield is known for those milkshakes, but we decided to save those for after the round.
Headed to the range, and it was immaculate. It was so impressive to see greens on the range that were cut so well that they reacted just as a green on the course would. I felt like I could spend years out there in the practice area watching my wedge shots spin.
Stepping onto the first tee, you can see the whole property. Taking that moment in is something special. Every hole on the course was so finely manicured. I made a comment to one of my playing companions, that it almost looked like they came out with scissors to perfectly trim the first and second cuts. Not a blade was out of place. That’s just how perfect it was.
Going through the front nine of Muirfield just has you in awe. As your playing, you know its a pros course. Just the set up, and space provided around each hole, allows you to envision the grandstands and fans surround each green. I have to say, my favorite stretch on the course was 8 and 9. Hole 8, a perfect Nicklaus-esq par 3, surrounded by bunkers, while hitting downhill into a slim green. A pictureesq hole. Hole 9, a downhill par 4 where you can’t see the green from the tee, but you get to the top of that hill and look down at the green, and you just imagine the crowds surrounding the green, with the huge clubhouse as the backdrop.
Personally, the back nine in my opinion heats up. The holes are long and tough, with no breaks in-between. The back nine also consists of some of the most recognizable par 3s in golf. The short 12th over the water, and the difficult 16th. Nothing like taking an extra ball to the back of 16 and trying to replicate that Tiger flop shot. Of course, not as easy as he made it seem. Hole 18 is another that blew my mind. This hole is long, and watching the pros get around the corner with 3 wood from the back tees is ridiculous. We could barely carry the bunkers on the right from the up tees! But the view coming into 18 is incredible. The clubhouse is so massive, and seems to be over a couple hundred yards long. Memories of watching a Sunday at the Memorial lingered.
The round ended, and it was time to get after those clubhouse milkshakes, but I flubbed. Before going to Muirfield, I had never heard of the milkshakes. I don’t know what rock I was hiding under for most of my life, but needless to say, I missed out. I had a beer and my playing companions enjoyed what they said to be, the best milkshakes they’ve had. Don’t make my mistakes.
The experience at Muirfield was first-class. The course itself is flawless, and the architecture is so Nicklaus-esq. Strategic tee balls, and demanding second shots that come into well protected greens with thick, full rough. If you ever get a chance to get there, then don’t second guess it, and don’t forget to get a milkshake as well.