Klein on Design: 14 at Muirfield Village
Monday, June 1, 2009
Architect: Jack Nicklaus-Desmond Muirhead
Where: Dublin, Ohio
Event: The Memorial, June 4-7
It’s great because . . . it revived the art of the short par 4 when it debuted in 1976.
A creek bisects the fairway, all but forcing players to lay up short off the tee. The challenge is its elusive green, which is tight across and narrower as you go deeper. There is heavy bunkering on the left and a decided tilt toward a mowed-down slope on the right that propels the ball into the water. The hole proves its guile with contour, not length, playing last year to a 4.113 stroke average during tournament week.
It would be even better if . . . when dry weather permits, PGA Tour officials would move up the tee on weekends and utilize a front-hole location at the widest part of the green, thereby encouraging bold play that could result in eagles. With the usual setup, there’s no reward for the risky 300-yard carry over the creek.