With a history dating back to 1891, when Old Tom Morris laid out a course on the sand dunes at Askernish Farm, Askernish Golf Course is currently undergoing a renaissance.
In December 2005 Gordon Irvine, one of the world’s leading Master Greensmen, visited Askernish having heard that there used to be an Old Tom Morris course there. He was enthralled by the turf and the landscape and proposed the idea of trying to restore the course back to the eighteen holes laid out by Old Tom Morris.
Though the Golf Club Committee were enthusiastic about restoring the course, a lack of funds almost scuppered the plans before they got going. Gordon Irvine then proposed using volunteers, who would give both time and expertise free of charge, to help restore the course which would in turn help the fragile economy of South Uist.
With great dedication, Gordon Irvine gathered together a group of expert volunteers and returned to the island in March 2006. The renowned Golf Course Architect Martin Ebert, of MacKenzie and Ebert, along with Gordon and a group of both local and visiting volunteers, spent two days mapping out an eighteen-hole course that incorporated a number of areas they believed could have been greens on the original course.
Since the initial mapping exercise, Askernish Golf Club has been working on the restoration project and the course layout was completed in early March 2008. Thousands of hours have been worked by volunteers on the project and the result is a course which has been praised by the media across the globe (see, for example, The Resurrection of Askernish Old in Travel and Leisure Golf and Missing Links Slide Show in New Yorker magazine).
Askernish Golf Club (www.askernishgolfclub.com), a Community Interest Company, is a tenant of Stòras Uibhist and all surpluses generated by the Club will be returned to Stòras Uibhist for re-investment on other projects that will benefit the community.