The Memorial Tournament attracts big crowds, evident here by the large gallery surrounding the 18th green.
Muirfield Village Golf Club was the dream and work of Jack Nicklaus. The land was acquired in 1966, but construction did not begin until July 28, 1972. The golf course is situated on 220 acres, which includes an 11-acre driving range. The course was officially dedicated on Memorial Day, May 27, 1974, with an exhibition match between Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf. Nicklaus scored a six-under par 66, which stood as the course record until 1979.
The 18-hole layout, selected by Golf Digest as No.16 among "America's 100 Greatest Courses," played at 6,978 yards in its original form, but is 7,265 at present. It had 77 bunkers, a number since reduced to 75, and water can be a hazard on 11 holes. A Columbus Pro-Am on Aug. 11, 1975 was the first event held at Muirfield, and the first Memorial Tournament was played in May, 1976. The course has also hosted the 1986 U.S. Junior Amateur, the 1987 Ryder Cup Matches, the USGA's 1992 United States Amateur Championship, the 1995 Wendy's Three-Tour Challenge, and the 1998 Solheim Cup.
|1||4||470||A slight dogleg right, from an elevated tee to a wide fairway,
which slopes from right to left. Bunkers in the driving area will
catch a sliced or pushed drive, and a hook or pull might find a
creek threading through the woods that line the left side of the
hole. The green is the largest on the course, with four traps
guarding it left, right and rear.
|2||4||455||A creek flanks the entire right side of the hole from 100 yards out
and abuts the right edge and rear of the green. Trees impede the
approach of a drive hit too far left, and the green is bunkered
front right and rear left. Thus, the player must drive and approach
towards water, and accuracy is at a premium. One of the tougher par
|3||4||401||A downhill drive to a generous fairway, then an approach over a
lake to a small, two-tiered green cut into a hillside. A drive too
far left might find a creek at the wood-line, leaving nowhere to
drop out that permits a clear shot to the green. Water awaits the
weak approach -- and sand the over-bold shot. One of Muirfield's
most scenically spectacular holes, and tougher than it looks.
|4||3||200||This first of the four par 3s slopes gently downhill to a long,
narrow, heavily-bunkered green cut into a hillside. The disaster
area is the wooded depression left of the green. Rolling hillsides
framing the entire right side of the hole offer ideal viewing areas
for spectators. A strong test of long-iron play.
|5||5||527||Downhill again from the tee, between wooded hillsides to a wide,
level fairway. Then the fun starts. Some 300 yards out, a creek
bordering the left side of the hole swings into the fairway, which
it then bisects all the way to the green. The creek finally becomes
a moat around the entire left side of the green, which is bunkered
right and left rear. The green is small and one of the most
undulating on the course. Altogether, an unusual and demanding
|6||4||447||A cluster of bunkers cut into the left hillside and a strategically
placed fairway bunker to the right put a premium on the accurate
tee shot. Ideal line is the left center of the fairway, leaving a
clear shot across water and sand to a medium-size green. A
challenging hole that can require a long-iron or even a wooden-club
second shot against wind.
|7||5||563||An exposed, elevated, bunker-lined, double-dogleg hole, reachable
in two by only the longest hitters. A rough-grassed swale sweeps
from the right side across in front of the green. Bunkers guard the
front left and right, and rear right of the putting surface, which
breaks severely off to the left towards a wooded ravine. Not an
easy hole to birdie, but the farther left the conservative player
is on his second shot, the easier his third becomes.
|8||3||185||Back to wooded country, this time dogwood, beech and hickory trees
almost completely surround the second shortest of the par-3 holes.
The tee shot is appealingly downhill, but the plateau green is
almost entirely surrounded by sand, including a pot bunker guarding
the back left. The valley between tee and green adds to the
difficulty of club selection by making the hole look longer than it
|9||4||412||One of Muirfield's most challenging driving holes. Too far right
from the tee and trees block the approach. Too far left and a
steep, wooded hillside threatens even more serious trouble. The
tilted green is spectacularly framed by a lake, a creek, a forest
and a bold hillside and must often be approached from an angled lie
even off a good drive. A strong par 4 demanding courage and finesse
from tee to cup.
|10||4||471||Comparatively open terrain and, as with the 15th hole, the nearest
thing to an uphill drive at Muirfield. Sand guards both sides of
the driving zone, and a large, many-fingered bunker fronting the
green threatens the under-hit approach. A rugged hole demanding
both length and precision, and one of the toughest par 4s on the
second nine, especially when played into wind.
|11||5||567||Running the length of a lovely valley between high, wooded hills,
this hole is the arena of a huge amphitheater capable of
comfortably accommodating a great many spectators. The drive is
enticingly downhill to a wide fairway, but a creek cuts diagonally
across the fairway at about 320 yards from the tee, then hugs it on
the right before swinging left again in front of the small,
elevated green. An inviting hole to gamble on, but two perfect
shots are necessary to get home.
|12||3||184||Muirfield's favorite hole among photographers features the largest
lake. The tee shot is played from a wooded hillside entirely across
water to a two-tiered, kidney-shaped green cut into another
hillside and set diagonally to the line of play. Bunkers flank the
right front and rear left of the green. Miss it and the ball will
generally find either sand or water.
|13||4||455||The drive is downhill to level ground, through a wooded chute to a
narrow but normally fast-running and gently curving fairway.
Finding the right half of the fairway sets up the best angle into
the long and narrow green, which runs away from the player. Bunkers
stretching almost the full length of the green on either side
demand a precise approach shot, generally with a longish club.
|14||4||363||Another downhill tee shot, once again into a wide, tree-lined
valley. About 245 yards from the championship tee, a creek emerges
from the left woods to border the fairway for some 40 yards before
angling across it and then on down to flank the right side of the
green. The green is long and narrow and heavily guarded left by
several bunkers. A definite birdie opportunity, but only for the
very accurate player.
|15||5||529||An unusual par 5 cut arrow-straight through the heart of a forest.
The ideal drive is to the crest of the hill, from where the long
hitter should be trying to get home in two. Thwarting him will be
the steep slope fronting the green, a couple of deep bunkers, and
the small size of the target -- not to mention the trees crowding
in left and right. There will be many birdies here, but there will
also be some disasters.
|16||3||215||Two fine trees -- an oak and an ash -- and a group of large gallery
mounds frame the generous green, which is fronted by a grassy
swale. A large bunker eats into the left front of the green, and
another bunker guards the rear. This hole is a good test of
|17||4||478||A revamped par 4 and one of Muirfield's toughest tests. Trees to
the right can cause a blind approach from that side of the fairway.
The rolling green is small and heavily bunkered, and is fronted by
a deep, rough-filled valley that can threaten the second shot off a
|18||4||444||An inviting downhill drive to an ample fairway. But bunkers
threaten at the corner of the dogleg to the right, and a long drive
hit too far left can find the creek threading the tree line or can
be blocked by a cluster of black walnuts short of the green. The
approach is uphill across a swale to a large two-tiered and heavily
contoured green bunkered front left, front right, left and rear
right. A spectacular finishing hole capable of accommodating more
than 20,000 spectators.
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