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Born in St. Andrews in 1821, you could very well consider Old Tom to be golf's first true pioneer.
Old Tom, at age 14, was hired as an apprentice for Allan Robertson, who is considered by many the world's first professional golfer. Robertson and Morris often played matches together.
Morris become the greenskeeper at St. Andrews in 1865. When he returned there it was in poor condition, and Old Tom was instructed to bring the Old Course back to glory. He did this by widening the fairways, enlarging the greens, using modern greenskeeping techniques and building two new greens (No. 1 and No. 18).
He stayed on as the head greenskeeper as the world's most famous golf course until 1903—38 years.
In addition to his greenskeeping, Old Tom was a very fine golfer, a club and ball maker, a golf instructor and, of course, designer.
His son, Young Tom, was considered by many the best golfer of his time but died tragically at age 24.