MUIRFIELD, Scotland (AP) – The course at Muirfield will be lengthened by 158 yards for this year's British Open.
The changes mainly deal with new tees at the second, fourth, ninth, 14th, 15th, 17th and 18th holes. There has also been some reworking of bunkers, and the 10th fairway has been moved to accommodate a bigger practice range.
Peter Dawson, CEO at the Royal and Ancient, says “we will be setting the course up to challenge the golfers.''
Muirfield is hosting the British Open for the 16th time since 1892. Ernie Els won the last title at the course in 2002, when it measured 7,034 yards. This year's course will be 7,192 yards, with par remaining at 71.
According to the BBC, the R&A will also use LED scorebards for the first time at the Open and will offered wi-fi access for fans to follow the tournament on their smartphones, which will be allowed on the grounds.
"Our championship committee is very engaged in trying to enhance the spectator experience," said R&A chief executive Peter Dawson. “We are trying to give fans access to what's going on all around the golf course. If we can get to that then I think golf spectating will take a huge leap forward. "We hear many people say golf is easier to watch on television, but you don't get the atmosphere quite as much as if you are present, Dawson continued. "When you come to the event, in general, you can only watch what is in front of you."