Thomas Morris

(Old Tom)

1821 - 1908

Old Tom Morris
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Old Tom Morris

Golfer. Born in St Andrews and educated at Madras College, Tom Morris served his apprenticeship with club and golf-ball maker Allan Robertson (1815-59). He went on to become a greenkeeper at Prestwick (1851) and returned to St Andrews in 1863, serving as the Old Course greenkeeper for the next forty years. By this time he had become a leading golfer and vied with his great rival Willie Park (1834 - 1903) for supremacy during the 1850s and 1860s. The pair dominated the Open Championship in its early years; Morris won in 1861, 1862, 1864 and 1867, was runner up in 1860, 1863 and 1869, and played in every Open until 1896.

Old Tom was the designer of many golf courses, including Carnoustie (1842 and remodelled in 1867), Royal Dornoch (1887), Tain (1890), Muirfield (1891), Crail (1892) and St. Andrews New (1894).

Morris was inducted into the Scottish Sports Hall of Fame in 2003 and his son, Tommy (1851-75) was also a remarkable golfer.

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