Get To Know Muirfield: Holes 7-12
By Torleif Sorenson on 7/17/13
Last week, we posted Golf Monthly's preview of the first six holes at Muirfield, the site of the 142nd Open Championship. As promised, here are holes 7-12. In addition to the video, we have also included the R&A's official description of each hole, which is posted at TheOpen.com.
If you are familiar with Muirfield, or with any of the 15 Opens the course has hosted in the past, please feel free to share your thoughts and opinions. Or, if you simply love golf's oldest major, comment away!
Hole 7, Par 3, 184 Yards
The second of Muirfield's short holes is played uphill and into the prevailing wind. The contouring on the green itself is probably not as severe as at the 4th but it still requires an accurate shot to avoid the three bunkers down the slope on the left and the sole trap on the other side. The green itself is 37 yards long, so correct clubbing is crucial if you want to give yourself a realistic birdie putt.
Hole 8, Par 4, 441 Yards
The 8th gives a perfect illustration of how the bunkering at Muirfield is often used to lengthen a hole. It requires a carry of over 280 yards to clear the cluster of bunkers set into the dog-leg so many competitors will opt for a 3-wood or long iron to the left and then a longer shot over cross bunkers to a green that drops away at the back and left. The old bunker short and right of the green has been replaced by a new trap closer to the putting surface.
Hole 9, Par 5, 554 Yards
A new tee has been built some 45 yards behind the previous Championship tee and it will not only add length but also bring the out-of-bounds down the left much more into play. The tee shot has to be placed between a deep bunker on the left and a new trap situated 270 yard out on the right of the landing area while the green sits uncomfortably close to the out-of-bounds and is protected by a cluster of bunkers on the right. Downwind the 9th remains a birdie opportunity but it becomes much more formidable in less favourable conditions.
Hole 10, Par 4, 469 Yards
A new fairway bunker has been added 290 yards out on the right-hand side of the landing area. The fairway itself has also been realigned in time for this year’s Championship and the existing right-hand fairway bunkers moved left to reflect this change. The prevailing south west wind pushes a tee shot towards those bunkers while the second has to be played to a flat and partially hidden green protected by sand on both sides.
Hole 11, Par 4, 387 Yards
This hole features a completely blind drive over the crest of a hill to a landing area which has been tightened by the introduction of a new fairway bunker built into the right-hand side of the fairway 320 yards from the Championship tee. The left-hand trap has also been moved so that it is now 270 yards from the tee. The second shot has to be accurate to hit a small and sharply-contoured heart-shaped green surrounded by sand.
Hole 12, Par 4, 379 Yards
Sandy Lyle once said this was a fairly comfortable driving hole but the second has to be threaded between sand to a long thin green which sits at slightly lower level than the fairway. The first bunker on the left-hand side has been replaced by a grassy hollow but the next one to it has been extended and the first bunker on the right has been moved a little to the left.
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