host of this week’s Presidents Cup, is an upmarket, golf-oriented community in Ohio with an outstanding course.
Muirfield Village is a upmarket, golf-oriented community located in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, Ohio, that can boast of owning the outstanding, private, members-only golf club that annually hosts the Memorial Tournament and this week will host the Presidents Cup between the USA and The Internationals.
The visiting Internationals, captained by South African-born, Zimbabwe schooled, Nick Price, is made up of the best players from the rest of the world outside of Europe.
Founded by Jack Nicklaus, the jewel in the crown of this exclusive community is the magnificent Muirfield Village Golf Club’s championship golf course, designed, as you would expect, by the Golden Bear himself.
A statue of the founder can be found along Muirfield Drive.
Played each year on the Memorial Day weekend, the tournament began in 1976, some two years after the golf club had officially opened its gates and had started selling homes on the surrounding golf estate.
Today Muirfield Village is one of the wealthiest and most notable neighborhoods in Central Ohio and is home to many local CEOs and celebrities.
Muirfield Village has its own neighborhood council for residents to participate in and functions as its own taxing unit with power to raise money for street lights, landscaping, and other municipal-type services, despite being within the city of Dublin.
Two golf courses are located within Muirfield Village – The Country Club at Muirfield, which also has tennis and swimming facilities, and Muirfield Village Golf Club, where the Memorial Tournament is held annually.
This week’s Presidents Cup is a first for Muirfield Village Golf Club, but it has also hosted several national championships and international team competitions, including the 1992 US Amateur, the 1987 Ryder Cup, the 1998 Solheim Cup and the 1986 US Junior Amateur.
Membership in MVGC tends to be concentrated mainly in Columbus and Ohio, but it has a fairly substantial national and international membership as well.
ABOUT THE MUIRFIELD VILLAGE GOLF CLUB
History: Muirfield Village Golf Club was the dream and work of Nicklaus in association with Desmond Muirhead.
The land was acquired in 1966, but construction did not begin until July 28, 1972.
The golf course, which is situated on 220 acres and has an 11-acre driving range, 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.
John Huston, who shot 61 in the second round in 1996, is the current holder of the course record, while Tom Lehman, who won The Memorial with a 268 total in 1994, is the 72-hole, tournament record holder.
The 18-hole layout, currently Golf Digest’s No. 17 among “America’s 100 Greatest Courses,” played at 6,978 yards in its original form, but is 7,221 at present. It had 77 bunkers, a number since reduced to 71, and water can be a hazard on 11 holes.
A Columbus Pro-Am on August 11, 1975 was the first event held at Muirfield, and the first Memorial Tournament was played in May 1976.
The Memorial Tournament has grown into one of golf’s premier events, and along with The Players, has sometimes been called the fifth major.
Muirfield Village Golf Club is controlled by Jack Nicklaus, one of the world’s foremost golf course designers, and each fall he makes changes to the course in order to accommodate new technology, make the course more enjoyable for members and tournament spectators, or simply to offer a tougher test for the pros.
In recent years changes have included lengthening several holes, including the first, tenth, twelfth, and seventeenth, adding or removing bunkers, re-routing a stream on the eighteenth hole and even raking furrows in to the bunkers with special rakes.
In 2007, the par-three 8th and the par five 15th were both lengthened, and bunkers on the 1st re-shaped and deepened to toughen the hole.
As was hoped, lengthening the 15th hole also improved the gallery traffic in an area that previously tended to get congested on a layout otherwise regarded as being one the best spectator courses on the PGA Tour.
No changes to the course have been made this year, but there has been a major upgrade of the clubhouse with Barbara Nicklaus, Jack’s wife of nearly 53 years, being responsible for putting the final touches to the project.
Designers: Jack Nicklaus and Desmond Muirhead
Brief Description: It is private, non-equity, 18-hole, par 72, bent grass championship course that is currently 7,221 yards long off the back tees and has a 76 rating and a 145 slope.
Because they are both private clubs, neither the Muirfield Village GC nor the The Country Club at Muirfield post its green fees on its website
Practice facilities: The course has a high quality, unlit driving range, a putting green and a chipping area with an on-site teaching professional (Larry Dornisch)
Pro shop: A wide range of leading brands in clubs, balls, apparel and accessories are available. Golf clubs can be rented, as can electric golf cars and pull carts.
Walking is allowed and caddies are available.
Catering facilities: A full bar and a restaurant with a snack bar is available to all players
Accommodation:The club has sleeping accommodation on the property for the use of members.
Some of it’s many awards include:
– Ranked 18th among Golf Digest Magazine’s ‘America’s 100 Greatest Public and Private Golf Courses’. (2005-2006)
– Ranked 1st out of Golf Digest Magazine’s Top 25 Golf Courses in Ohio (2005-2006)
– Ranked 23rd among Golf Magazine’s Top 100 Courses in the US in 2003 and 2005.
– It’s Par 4 14th hole has been ranked among the world’s top 100 holes by Golf Magazine since 2000
Jack Nicklaus says of his course: “I set out to build not only an outstanding golf course for every level of player, but a magnificent course for watching a tournament…I thought the Masters was a great thing for golf and that I’d like to do the same thing in Columbus.”
He did just that.
North of Columbus, at 5750 Memorial Drive, Dublin, Ohio 43017
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