All golfers love to play famous golf courses and of the nearly 40,000 which exist in the world today no two are the same. However there is indeed a reason why many 'Best 100' lists of courses feature the same courses so near the top. And Muirfield features on many "world" lists as the best golf course in the world.
Towards the end of last year I was lucky enough to play Muirfield with my great golf pals - Murchie, Wilson and McLeod. Because we are all lifelong golfers and have played more or less all of the top courses in Scotland this was not a first time experience for any of us to be playing at Muirfield. In fact I had two pervious experiences of the course before actually playing there.
In 1973 Murchie and I saw the Ryder Cup match which was somewhat of a contrast to the massive event we see today. We turned up at the gate, paid our money and joined the other 5000 spectators there for the day. And we were able to get up real close to see the likes of Nicklaus, Palmer and Trevino in the US side as well as Jacklin, Oosterhuis and even Christy O'Conner Snr in the GB&I side.
6 years later I was back at Muirfield this time to watch our great pal Brian Marchbank play in the Walker Cup match with the US side featuring Scott Hoch and Hal Sutton. And Murchie really had the best seat in the house as he caddied for Brian!
So last year when we played it had been a while and our round reminded us all why it is one of the best courses in the entire world and in many people's eyes it is the best.
Condition wise it was almost surreal to be playing a course at that time of year in Scotland which was absolutely pristine and it retains all the features of links golf at it's very best. The design and routing of the course is second to none and it is easy to see why so many of the best players in the world have won Opens at Muirfield - they say the best courses identify the best champions and nowhere can that be more so than at Muirfield.
In the modern era alone the list of champions is arguably the best on any of the Open rota courses - Player, Nicklaus, Trevino, Watson, Faldo, Els and Mickelson - in fact those amazing golfers have 56 majors between them which tells you all you need to know about the quality of the champions produced by Muirfield.
To enhance the wonderful experience at Muirfield one really must have lunch in the clubhouse which is the perfect way to round off a perfect day.