Five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson addressed a reception to celebrate the first season of the Tom Morris Golf Shop in St Andrewson Monday night.
The oldest golf shop in the world reopened in April this year following an extensive renovation and features a display of some original pieces of furniture which belonged to Tom Morris.
Euan Loudon, Chief Executive of St Andrews Links Trust, said, “This has been an important project not only for the Trust and the town but the world of golf. Tom was such a hugely influential figure in shaping the modern game and this was his workshop, the place where he made it all happen.
“The new shop format celebrates his achievements and the crest on the apparel and merchandise preserves the rich legacy he left behind. The shop has already proved popular this summer and we hope many more people take the chance to visit in the future.”
The Tom Morris Golf Shop was originally opened in St Andrewsin 1866 by the four-time Open champion who is widely regarded as the father of the modern game. His ball and clubmaking business was originally founded in 1848.
Tom Morris Ltd was acquired last year by St Andrews Links Trust, which manages the seven public courses at the Home of Golf. The shop stocks apparel and merchandise bearing an updated Tom Morris crest from the 1880s and the sign on the front of the building will once again be styled with the name ‘T. Morris’ as it was in his time.
Several artefacts belonging to Morris himself were discovered during the renovation including his original workbench in the shop window where he made golf clubs and balls, the fireplace where he heated and shaped gutta percha balls and what is believed to be his locker where he stored his clubs.
These items form part of a display area in the shop celebrating the achievements of Morris as a golf champion, a pioneering greenkeeper and course architect, a club and ball maker, a family man and a businessman.
Morris was a hugely influential figure in the development of golf, The Open Championship and the Old Course and St Andrews Links in particular. Morris’ high profile series of money matches against Willie Park in the 1860s to 1880s brought the game, through national newspaper coverage, to a wider audience and helped to establish golf as a popular sport.
He was employed by The Royal and Ancient as Keeper of the Green in St Andrews for nearly forty years and made many improvements to the Old Course. These included building the 1st and 18th greens, enlarging many of the famed double greens and clearing gorse which made the current anti-clockwise routing used today possible.
He also laid out the New Course which opened in 1895. He was the first to begin applying sand to the Old Course which is now a technique accepted as commonplace among greenkeepers around the world. Morris was also involved in creating the original layouts of some of Britain’s most famous courses including Carnoustie, Prestwick, Muirfield and Royal North Devon (Westward Ho!).
His son Tommy became the youngest Open champion in 1868 at the age of 17, beating his father into second place, the only time this has happened in the 150-year history of the championship and a feat unlikely to be repeated. Tommy won The Open three consecutive times and then again in 1872. He died tragically at the age of 24.
A new website has been created about the Tom Morris Golf Shop at www.tommorris.com
Tom Morris apparel and merchandise can be purchased from the online shop at www.standrews.org.uk