Old Tom Morris' first golf shop location in St. Andrews discovered
St. Andrews is so famous in the world of golf, and so much has been written about it, that you'd think we know all there is to know about the place and its history. Turns out, that's not true at all.
Roger McStravick, a golf history writer, has come up with a fantastic new bit of information – the previously unknown location of Old Tom Morris' original golf shop. Morris – who was a greenkeeper, a maker of clubs and balls and a prolific course designer in addition to being a four-time British Open champion – opened his own shop in 1848 after serving as an apprentice.
McStravick, who is researching a book on Morris called ''St. Andrews, In the Footsteps of Old Tom Morris,'' was digging around in some old manuscripts in the Golf Collection in the University of St. Andrews Special Collections Department when he discovered what is known as a ''precognition'' – a statement from Morris from around 1878 explaining how he had built his shop right beside the 18th fairway of the Old Course several decades earlier.
The address today is known as 15 The Links.
''In his statement talking about his life around 1848, Tom says that he built his own shop and through statements by others at the time, including the father of the R&A John Whyte-Melville and clubmaker Robert Forgan, I was able to identify the exact location for this little shop,'' McStravick told Scotland's STV News.
In that same precognition, McStravick also discovered that Daw Anderson – known in St. Andrews lore as the ''the ginger beer seller'' – had his own golf shop at 9 The Links, where his son and three-time Open champion Jamie Anderson living upstairs for almost 10 years during the prime of his playing career.