DUBLIN, Ohio – Jack Nicklaus called it his “last bite at the apple,” but if he’s being honest, there will certainly be a few more nibbles.
Since last year’s Memorial Tournament, Nicklaus has uprooted Muirfield Village for a complete makeover that included new greens, fairways and irrigation. Although the project started with much more humble goals, it grew into an extensive renovation.
Among the most dramatic changes is to the first green, which Nicklaus pushed back nearly 30 yards and created a new “style” of green.
“I wasn't real happy with what I did the first time so maybe what I did the second will be better,” he said.
The 10th green was also expanded to allow for more hole locations and the fairway on the 15th hole was lowered by about 20 feet.
“When we moved the tee back at 15 last year more guys hit it into the face of the hill, a lot of guys were getting it to the top and I said, that's not fair. It's not fair that the medium-length hitter is penalized,” he said.
But the biggest change players will likely notice is to the par-3 16th green. Last year that green was so firm few players were able to keep their tee shots on the putting surface. The new green is tilted from back to front. “Now the green sits to you,” Nicklaus said.