The Muirfield Golf Experience

Muirfield ClubhouseWith The Open Championship happening this week, golf in the U.K. is in the forefront of my mind. As sad as this is to admit I have yet to visit the U.K. for a golf trip. About 20 years ago when I wasn’t playing much golf I visited London and Edinburgh, but to be honest golf was not even on my radar at the time. I made another trip to London a couple of years ago, but it was a quick trip and regretfully there was no time for golf. I am dying to get over there soon and as fortune would have it my best friend Jay, who has been in New York City for the last fifteen years, has just taken a new position with his company that will have him based out of London for at least the next two years. I’ve already told his wife to make sure the guest room is nice and comfy because I’ll definitely be spending some time there!

Of all the incredible golf experiences in the U.K. there are three that I am looking forward to the most. For obvious reasons The Old Course at St. Andrews is one of them. Sunningdale Golf Club is another one. I have a large number of friends who count Sunningdale’s old course among their Top 10 favorites in the world so those endorsements alone have me chomping at the bit to get there. Finally that brings us to Muirfield, host of this weeks Open Championship and home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. I love the sound of the total experience at Muirfield. For those who don’t know a day at Muirfield goes a little like this:

arrive in jacket and tie
change into golf attire
play 18 holes in roughly 3 hours
shower and change back into jacket and tie
eat lunch for about 3 hours
change back into golf attire
play 18 holes alternate shot in roughly 3 hours
shower and change back into jacket and tie
go home

Now, I am not a person who derives great pleasure from wearing a jacket and tie, but for something like this where it is part of a long standing tradition, I love it. I think that it’s unbelievably cool that Muirfield offers a day of golf that is completely different from other golf experiences . . . AND that their club culture is to play a game in 3 hours!!! To me, a place like Muirfield is one of the things that really make the game of golf great. To be able to travel the world and take part in different types of unique experiences and see different golf courses is what makes golf so special. It’s places like Muirfield that make me SO happy that I chose to play golf instead of chess, bridge or even tennis.

Feel free to leave some comments below about your favorite golf experiences in Scotland, Ireland and England.