Thanks to my friend John Boyne, a caddy at St. Andrews, for submitting this neat article on the 100 year anniversary of the death of Old Tom Morris. ~Tony
Old Tom Morris is attributed with being the founder of modern golf as we know it in this the 21st Century. An extrodinary feat considering he died, at the age of 84, on the 24th May 1908. This year is the 100th annversary of his death in St. Andrews.
An extrodinary man, he was born in June 1817, in St. Andrews. He grew up playing golf and this may have been the overriding decision from his father to apprentice him, as a ball maker, to the most famous golfer of the time and the first ‘professional’ Allan Robertson of St. Andrews. He served with Robertson for a term of nine years at the end of which he was playing the great Robertson on equal terms.
It is said that Alan Robertson never lost a match where a cash prize was at stake. They never had many recorded head to head matches, reputations at stake one suspects, but as a pair/team they were unbeatable. And the stakes could be high. Records show that one famous high staked game was for £400 (pounds) = $800 today, against the Dunn brothers from Musselburgh. For the victors in 1849 this is a fantastic amount of money and would be worth thousands in real terms, good God I would be hard pressed to go any higher than a simple five pound nassau today! Ah….to have some gentlemen benefactors, as these golfing pioneers obviously did, and then go out and produce the golfing goods against the best opponents of the day managed to give them an aura of invincibility when the money matches were played over the original Scottish Links courses of Mussellburgh, North Berwick and St. Andrews.