I don’t talk about the PGA Tour all that much on this website. As I’ve said before there are others that cover the Tour very well and I feel like any commentary I might have would just be background noise. That said, when the Tour stops at a Top 100 golf course I tend to pay a little more attention and like to throw my 2 cents in. Last year I had the chance to play a round at Muirfield Village and the only thing I can say is that the course is every bit as great as it looks on TV each year. Jack Nicklaus built this club as an homage to Augusta National and he could not have executed better. Click HERE if you would like to see the photo tour from my visit last year.
This year with the help of Ed, my Columbus based buddy who has a rich history of playing and spectating at Muirfield Village, I thought I would do a little preview of what we can expect at The Memorial Tournament this week. Here are a few thoughts from Ed and me about this weeks tournament.
The field at The Memorial Tournament is great. The top six from the Offical World Golf Ranking, nine of the current top 10 on the FedEx Cup points list and eight of the top 10 on the PGA Tour money list are all showing up at Muirfield Village this week. Outside of the four major championships and The Players Championship, this is one of the best fields all year. I think its nice that the lads show Nicklaus the respect he deserves and come to Columbus to “kiss the ring”.
This is one of the best courses on the PGA Tour schedule. That probably has something to do with the great field, but it definitely has a lot to do with the caliber of golf that we spectators get to see. Courses like this really challenge the Tour pros and give us something a little different than the dart show birdie fests we typically see week in and week out on the Tour. Make sure to tune in this week and catch some of the action. I think it’s often the best “non-major championship” golf all season. Also keep in mind that this is a great preview of what is to come this Fall when The President’s Cup is played at Muirfield Village.
For those going to the tournament a few good spots to watch the action are:
No. 8 – For the more laid back spectator. This is the easiest par 3 on the course (even I birdied it!). It is rarely crowded here and is a great spot to sit and watch golf away from the huge crowds at other holes. No. 7 and No 9 are also usually not very crowded.
No. 12 – The dramatic par 3 over the water. There will definitely be a wide range of scores put up at this hole. A lot of people will camp out here all day long.
No. 14 – This is party central for tournament spectators. The left side of the green can hold a TON of people and it’s always sunny there. This is a fun hole to watch because its a short par 4 and a lot of the guys will hit driver and try to get close or reach the green from the tee. There is a beer tent behind the skyboxes that gets pretty raucous and is THE place to see and be seen.
There are plenty of other great spots to watch the golf and hang out at The Memorial Tournament but we will just stick to the highlights here. Something else to keep in mind for those going to the tournament is that they are probably going to be extra sensitive about cell phones this year. News outlets have reported that there will be a heightened enforcement of cell phone policies this year, so don’t get yourself thrown out of the tournament because you wanted to call your buddy to tell him you just yelled “Get In the Hole!” after Tiger teed off on a par 5 . . . on second thought please DO make that call and get yourself thrown out so we don’t have to listen to that garbage.
One final note about Columbus this weekend is that the U.S. Open qualifier will be held the Monday after The Memorial Tournament as it always is. This year it is at Brookside Golf & Country Club and The Lakes Golf & Country Club. There will be a ton of Tour pros there and spectators can walk the fairways with no ropes and see some really great golf from the pros and some aspiring amateurs. It’s a unique golf experience to say the least.
All in all, it’s a great week of golf in Columbus!