Since 1892 Muirfield has hosted 42 national and international competitions. Rich in Open history, seven of 13 Open Champions won their first ‘major’ over the course.
Winning at Muirfield requires a certain flamboyance as exhibited by Walter Hagen or by Amateur champion Cyril Tolley, who paid his caddie the sum agreed for winning before stepping up to hole the winning birdie putt against Robert A Gardner in 1920.
There has also been just reward for course management. Jack Nicklaus won in 1966 by driving with his 1-iron in order to avoid the punishing rough, while in 1987, Nick Faldo played each hole of the final round in par to win. Only Braid and South Africa’s Gary Player won the Open by shooting progressively lower scores in each of their four rounds.
Muirfield played host to the 1952 and 1984 Curtis Cup, the 1963 and 1975 Vagliano Trophy and, back in 1914, the Scottish Close Championship. The Club has also twice hosted the annual Oxford versus Cambridge match, the only occasions on which this fixture has been held outside England.
In the final of the 1920 Amateur Championship at Muirfield, the sportsmanship and quality of play impressed the watching USGA President, George Herbert Walker so much so that he conceived the Walker Cup. It was the 1959 Walker Cup that introduced Jack Nicklaus to Muirfield. He developed such a life-long love and admiration for the course that he named his own course in Ohio, Muirfield Village.
More recently, in June 2010, the Amateur Championship was won by Jin Jeong of South Korea who became the first winner of this prestigous event from Asia in beating James Byrne from Banchory.