Six Old Tom Morris Classics

1. Machrihanish, Argyll, Scotland 
Old Tom extended this to 18 holes in 1879 and made his mark early, re-routing the epic 1st hole to skirt the arcing Atlantic up the left. Though altered twice since then, Old Tom’s original layout, straight up the coast before weaving back on the into-wind section, remains broadly in place. 
Machrihanish is ranked 43 in our Golf World Top 100 Courses: UK&I. Click here to see the full ranking.


2. Askernish, South Uist, Scotland

Old Tom’s 1891 creation was abandoned until its 2005 rediscovery and 2008 rebirth. Coastal erosion and a lack of any original routing means the current course is only best guess at Morris’ work, but original hole corridors and green sites make this close as you can get to playing 19th-century golf.  


3. Royal Dornoch, Highlands, Scotland

The game’s third oldest course, dating back to 1616, Morris updated its original nine in 1886 and added nine more three years later. His establishing of the greens on domed plateau would become a well-used strategy – especially by Donald Ross, the club’s first greenkeeper and pro.
Royal Dornoch is ranked 4th in our Golf World Top 100 Courses Scotland and 5th in our Golf World Top 100 Courses: UK& I. Click here to see the rankings or here to read our full review.


4. St Andrews, Fife, Scotland

Morris only tweaked the Old Course, adding new greens at 1 and 18 and widening fairways. But in doing this he paved the way for the theory of alternative routing – a safer option to a braver, riskier and more rewarding line – that has become a staple of golf course architecture ever since.
St Andrews is ranked 1st in our Golf World Top 100 Courses: Scotland ranking and 2nd in our Golf World Top 100 Courses: UK&I ranking.


5. Prestwick, Ayrshire, Scotland

While today’s course is very different to Morris’ original 12-hole 1851 layout, it is predominantly on the same turf and enjoys the same sense of history and wild adventure. Six greens are on original green sites, while the 2nd, 3rd, 13th and 17th have barely deviated from their original formats.
Prestwick is ranked 39 in our Golf World Top 100 Courses: UK&I. Click here to see the full ranking.


6. Cruden Bay, Highlands, Scotland

Opened in 1899, Morris‘ original 5,290-yard 18-holer was redesigned in 1926 by Tom Simpson and Herbert Fowler. They could not improve on his routing and the current layout has plenty of Morris in it. Indeed Simpson labelled Old Tom’s par-5 6th one of Britain’s best holes.
Cruden bay is ranked 24th in our Golf World Top 100 Courses: UK&I. Click here to see the full ranking.

Cruden Bay 17th good 2.jpg

Nick Wright