Muirfield’s popularity among players as an Open venue will be tested by an extra 158 yards and ‘‘plenty’’ of rough for this year’s Championship from July 18- 21.

New tees have been added on seven of the holes, taking the distance of the course from 7,034 yards when Ernie Els won in 2002 to 7,192 yards, par 71 this summer.

The biggest difference is on the ninth, where the tee has moved back almost 50 yards – extending it to 554 yards – with a new bunker added on the right of the fairway.

R&A chief executive Peter Dawson said: ‘‘It’s immensely popular with the players. Jack Nicklaus’ comment about ‘What you see is what you get’ at Muirfield was perhaps directed at other links courses with blind shots and where more luck is involved.

‘‘The ground here is flat and every hole seems to be going in a different direction, but we will be setting the golf course up to challenge.”