You would think that when it comes to iconic sporting brands, St Andrews is about as good as it gets. Known universally as the home of golf, the British Open’s spiritual and historical base needs no introduction for most people.
Which makes it seem all the more bizarre that the St Andrews Links Trust is currently running an online competition to come up with a name for a new course in the Scottish golfing mecca.
“It is the first time in more than 600 years of history at the Home of Golf that people have been invited to suggest names for a golf course at the Links,” enthuses the press release, as though that’s a good thing. Shouldn’t St Andrews be beyond labels?
Well, actually, it turns out that most of the various courses in St Andrews have names. You can even read the history behind “The Jube”, “The Strath” and the others here.
The new course will be the seventh among the “Links portfolio”, as the Trust likes to call it, and is described as a younger sister to the Old Course, which is the 18 hole layout that everybody thinks of as St Andrews.
This new course is being built on a clifftop to the south-east of the St Andrews township, on a piece of land known as Kinkell Ness, near Brownhills Farm, with views over St Andrews Bay. So “Kinky Hightop Brown” comes into play.
Apparently, “Number Seven” isn’t going to cut it when it comes to naming this layout. Among the first 500 or so entries were suggestions like “Number Seven Cliffs of Heaven”, “The Human Peace Course”, “The Miracle” and even “The Prince William Course” because the Prince spent some time at university in the Scottish town (insert eye roll here).
It remains a matter of time before the marketing teams of major corporates have a crack. Look for an entry from a Mr J Smith, Ireland, suggesting the “Pure Genius Course”, or “The Microsoft Course” from a Mr B Gates, Silicon Valley.
Or possibly, given it’s not the true St Andrews Old Course, the layout should be titled, “I-can’t-believe-it’s-not-really-St-Andrews”, or just “St Andrews Lite”? Even the “So, couldn’t bribe anybody for a tee-time at the real course, huh? course”.
The deadline for entries is 1 December (lodge your offerings at [email protected]) and the winner (announced in January) will be invited to a golfing VIP-laced opening and will get to play one of the first rounds on the new McCoke IBM Foster’s St Andrews with fries 18.