“A certain breed of golfer collects golf courses as he might butterflies, traveling the world in pursuit of the rarer species and cataloging his conquests for the bedazzlement of fellow collectors. Some collectors specialize in the rare and the inaccessible—golf courses that straddle the equator or cling to glaciers, that sort of thing. But for most golfers, collecting is a search for roots, the roots of the game and the roots of obsession. This sort of collecting leads to Scotland and, once there, inevitably to Muirfield.”
Being one of those collectors and having not had the pleasure to have experienced the golf club of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, more familiarly known as Muirfield, I find this SI article from 1987 by Sarah Ballard invaluable in bridging that gap for me and describing in fascinating detail one of the oldest and most storied venues in our sport.
Like so many pieces about a classic place this one has lost none of it’s relevance over 25 years. BTW, the Open Championship returns to Muirfield in 2013.
Sarah does not limit herself to the course but covers the enticing gestalt of the place, down to the members, the accommodations, and the food. Pour yourself a large Arnold Palmer and enjoy this archived article. You get the full bouquet of the Muirfield experience and it is intoxicating.