Grandstand at Muirfield

by LINKS75 on April 23, 2013

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The evening before we had gone through the plan with the Scots over 2 to 300 record fast pints of Guinness. LINKS75 a.k.a  “xxx” will incognito go round Muirfield – host for this year’s British Open.   The origin of this conspiracy on a dark April evening lies a few years back in time. LINKS75 remembers it like yesterday. “Suspended lifetime“. We wake bathed in cold sweat. Equipment is made anonymous and beard cultivated. By the solid metal door with the the emblem “HCE” we keep ourselves in the background. The Scots look straight ahead and prey to God. Now or never. The “Pearly Gates” open – we are in. Janne Josefsson can take a hike this is really going undercover. Two weeks ago they began building the main grandstand for this year’s British Open in July. “Back tee gentleman.” The course has been trimmed with nail scissors since the turn of the year. The week’s friend – the wind – is still with us. We start at the 10th. Car, boat, house we play for something greater – our honour. Scotland v LINKS75 – classic best ball on the world’s best golf course. Nervous energy runs down our clubs but we strike four mighty drives – tally-ho! Inward nine anti-clockwise. The turf gives us goosebumps – spectacular – LINKS75 class. After several tentative approaches we reach the green. LINKS75 feels obliged to go cheek-to-cheek with the one true surface – LINKS75-class! Twelve weeks left to the Open and the course is going to be in monstrous condition. The Scots lose the plot and manage, to our pure delight, to pick up – LINKS75 takes immediate command. The 11th has a marker post, the only one on the course. From the back tee the par 4s play long, into the wind criminally long. The Scots even the scores when LINKS75 gets overly-enthused over a smoothly-raked bunker of high LINKS75 standard. On the 12th, a par 4 in the opposite direction, LINKS75 land the ball safely on the green and once again has the honour. The 13th – par 3 – has a wonderful bunker arrangement and the green is like an upside-down cauldron. We are forced to retire backwards from a bunker. All square again.

13th, Muirfield

13th, Muirfield

The 14th and 15th are both long par 4s, upwind, driver, hybrid. The course reveals its real self and gives us an insight into the difficulties of championship golf. LINKS75 has the honour and attacks the 16th – a par 3 – but the Scots hit long, accurate irons. All square. On the 17th – par 5 – LINKS75 takes out the big guns, eases off on the adrenaline and soaks up championship vibes internally. Two shots later we are putting for eagle and the Scots shake in their shoes while they get a taste of the power of Swedish Vikings – birdie – in charge again. On the 18th, where everything will be decided in July, the Grandstand is in place. LINKS75 this time loses the plot and hits an imaginary English lady. We autograph our glove and move on. The Scots show how things should be done with a finish worthy of a winner. Par for the championship, the public’s acclaim echoes around the rows of seats.

Grandstands at 18th, Muirfield

Grandstands at 18th, Muirfield

All square after the inward nine. The outward nine – an outer stretch clockwise. The 1st – a long par 4 and the 2nd a hole with character along the wall, where we can see Gullane from a neighbouring rise. The 3rd – a short par 4 with a gateway of sand dunes standing guard. We hit out a yard in front of the championship tee and LINKS75 holds its position. On the 4th, a wonderful par 3, we are overwhelmed by links love and lose concentration, which allows the white gold to slip through our fingers. The Scots once again hit long and find the finely-cut surface. Even again. On the 5th – a par 5 – LINKS75 once again feels its Viking blood surge, muscles swell and but for a single roll we miss the green and once again the chance to putt for an eagle. Instead we end up having Thomas Björn-style bunker trouble and the Scots get an evil gleam in their eyes and for the first time take command. The 6th – a par 4 – is a hole of the strongest character. LINKS75 hits a perfect drive, just as clinically as Henke Larsson in his green-white shirt. the Scots are stressed into error and we are back in the match. The 7th – a par 3 135 yards – into a strong headwind. Low 4-iron, LINKS75 finds the middle of the plateau – touche! With a sweet smell of victory in our nostrils we look on with horror as the Scots hit long 5-irons stone dead and birdie. Scotland v LINKS75 – 1 up with two to play. The 8th, into a tailwind, is over 400 yards and our drives fly for miles followed by short tricky approaches over an intricate bunker system. The Scots, in the end, show where the cradle of golf originates. A steady par and LINKS75 can only doff their caps – 2/1.

9th, Muirfield

9th, Muirfield

Only the 9th remains, a monstrous par 5 leading to the waiting clubhouse. We close with a smile, enjoy the last 500 yards and head for a waiting lunch in the same spirit. LINKS75-class everywhere.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Gary May 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Thanks for the muirfield memory any more importantly allowing us to keep our honour cheers guys
Look forward to a return match

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