In good company

So what is it really like inside the clubhouse at Muirfield? Here is an excerpt from my Golf World article explaining just that.

What lies behind Muirfield’s gates is a club of speed-loving members who would do anything for good lunch as Mark Alexander finds out

As entrances go, Magnolia Lane is special. The colourful blooms provide the ideal lead up to Augusta. Yet despite all its reverence, some would argue it pails into insignificance against the walk from the car park, along Duncur Road and onwards to the gates of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. For some, this is as spine-tingling as it gets.

With the sound of flight bags being dragged across the tarmac and the wind whistling through the trees, the 200-metre walk gives you tantalising glimpses Muirfield’s fluttering flags through the wrought iron lattice. Beyond, groups of traditionally clad golfers stride across the links in jovial form bolstered by the heat of competition.

Only the world’s great golf clubs give you that feeling. The aura of the place takes over and your heart starts to pound and your eyes widen. Pushing against the heavy iron gate, you enter in hushed deference. This is, after all, where Tom Watson and Ben Crenshaw were dutifully vilified for playing a couple of extra holes with hickories on a quiet Sunday evening. The fact that Watson has just won the 1980 Open Championship with Crenshaw coming third was of no interest to the club’s notorious secretary P.W.T. “Paddy” Hanmer, a retired Royal Navy captain.

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