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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 12:50 GMT
Golf course turns back the clock
Askernish in South Uist
International experts are to return the course to its original lay-out
An island golf course is set to be restored to its original 19th century lay-out designed by the man regarded as the father of golf.

The plan to return Askernish in South Uist to Old Tom Morris's design of 1892 follows a visit by experts to the Western Isles last December.

The nine-hole links course would be restored to its original 18 holes.

Old Tom won the Open championship four times - a feat matched by his son Young Tom Morris.

He is also regarded as possibly the greatest course designer - helping design 60 courses worldwide.

Askernish is a par 67 nine-hole links course but it was discovered that it had been laid out over the original 18-hole course designed by Old Tom.

International golf experts are to fly to the Askernish club this month with a plan to return the links to its original Morris glory.

The transformation could bring a tourism bonanza with golfers worldwide desperate to tick off as many Morris courses as they can.

Following a visit by golf course consultant Gordon Irvine to Uist last December, the club agreed to return the course, as far as possible, to the original design.

Mr Irvine will return this month with golf course architect Martin Ebert and agronomist Alistair Beggs, to trace the original greens and produce a plan for the restoration.

Askernish in South Uist
Askernish is a nine-hole links course

If Askernish Common Grazings Committee approves the proposal, a team of volunteer greenkeepers selected by Mr Irvine will visit Askernish to work on the course during early May.

Old Tom was born in St Andrews in 1821 and became a star golfer.

The Morris father and son remain the oldest and youngest winners in the history of the Open championship.

Old Tom won four Opens in the 1860s and was aged 46 when he won his final championship.

Young Tom was the first winner of the present-day Silver Claret Jug trophy after three previous wins, being only 17 when he won his first Open.

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