Who is Old Tom Morris?

All roads lead to one man… Old Tom Morris of St Andrews.

During the 19th Century, as the Scottish game was coming of age, Old Tom spread the gospel of golf by travelling the length and breadth of the nation creating one brilliant course after another.

From his earliest days at Prestwick, Old Tom demonstrated a gift for using the natural landscape to craft dramatic holes like the Alps, which even today strikes fear into the hearts of players facing the carry over that massive dune and the yawning Sahara Bunker.

For half a century, in youth and old age, he travelled to every corner of the kingdom, laying out or redesigning golf courses. Seventeen of his creations were chosen for this Trail, along with North Berwick, which exemplifies what Tom loved about links golf and played such a pivotal role in his life. 

Recommended further reading about Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris. 

Monarch of the Green by Stephen Proctor 

St Andrews in the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris by Roger McStravick

Following the 200th anniversary of his birth in 2021, golfers can follow in the master’s footsteps along the Old Tom Morris Golf Trail, playing memorable courses from the Outer Hebrides to the Highlands, down the coast to Fife and the Lothians, and through the west from Ayr to the Mull of Kintyre.

Travelling along the Old Tom Morris Trail, playing one course after another built or revised by the Grand Old Man himself, is more than simply the golf trip of a lifetime. It is a journey of discovery into Tom’s unmatched influence over the history of our game.

Created by Bonnie Wee Golf, the Trail features eighteen classics designed or enhanced by Old Tom himself, from gems like Royal Dornoch, Crail, and Cruden Bay to Open Championship stalwarts like Muirfield,  Prestwick and St Andrews Old.

Pictures courtesy of St Andrews University Library

Old Tom Morris, ca.1900
Old Tom Morris, ca.1907
Old and Young Tom Morris (son), ca.1875
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