Trust preparing to mark Old Tom’s bicentennial

Old Tom Morris. Pic courtesy of Colin Sutherland.Old Tom Morris. Pic courtesy of Colin Sutherland.
Old Tom Morris. Pic courtesy of Colin Sutherland.
On what would have been the week of his 199th birthday, St Andrews Links Trust have announced that preparations are underway to celebrate the bicentennial of Tom Morris’ birthday.

And in recognition of arguably the game’s greatest pioneer, the Trust are encouraging the global golf community to share their ideas and stories ahead of the celebrations in 2021.

The Links Trust and media partners NBC Golf released a short video to commemorate the countdown to 200 on the date of Old Tom’s 199th birthday, which would have been Tuesday.

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From birth on 16 June 1821 through his formative years in the town, the video offers a glimpse of how Tom Morris presided over the most significant period in the development of golf and highlights how his contribution to the game extended far beyond St Andrews, helping the game to prosper around the world.

Though many recognise the Morris name and his catalogue of achievements, St Andrews Links Trust aim to make 2021 a year of celebration for the founder of the game as we know it; not only a four time Open Champion but one of golf’s greatest innovators; as a club maker; golf ball designer; sculpting some of the world’s greatest courses; and inspiring those who followed in his footsteps, a rich lineage that incorporates Donald Ross and Alister MacKenzie through to Tom Doak and Gil Hanse in the present day.

Euan Loudon, chief executive of St Andrews Links Trust, said: “St Andrews is recognised around the world as the Home of Golf and within its incredible heritage and rich lineage there is perhaps no figure who embodies so much to St Andrews and the game of golf as Tom Morris.

“As we look towards 2021 and our continued recovery from the Covid-19 crisis we want to celebrate the diversity of his achievements and the values he still represents for the town and the game of golf.

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“His indelible mark is still very much on the Old Course and our Links but we also wish to recognise how his influence extends beyond St Andrews, across Scotland and further afield.

“On what would have been his 199th birthday we start our countdown to 2021.

“We have worked with our friends at NBC Golf to give a sense of what he represents and hope to inspire the global golf community to help us to celebrate the life of Tom Morris and ensure the bicentennial of his birthday in 2021 confirms his legacy is preserved and continues to prosper for generations to come.”

In the run up to June 16 next year, St Andrews Links will celebrate #OldTom200 across its platforms, courses and facilities.

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In order to assist these efforts, the Links Trust would like to hear from golf’s global community via email at [email protected] or via the Trust’s social media channels.

The submissions will be shared on the Trust’s social media platforms and on later this year when further details around the programme of events to celebrate the bicentenary of his birth will be shared.

The video is now online and available to view on the St Andrews Links’ YouTube channel.

• Old Tom Morris still holds two records in the Open Championship: the oldest winner at 46 in 1867, and the largest winning margin by a winner, by 13 strokes in 1862.

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With his son, Young Tom Morris, he holds the record as being part of the only father/son pair to finish as winner and runner up, in 1869.

Young Tom Morris won the Open Championship four times, but died aged 24 on Christmas Day 1875 a few months after the passing of his wife.. When Old Tom died in 1908, he was 87.

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