In 1891, when Old Tom Morris first walked this machair on the Atlantic side of the Hebridean island of South Uist, he needed only one word to describe it: "Staggering."
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Paid with a grant from Bandon Dunes developer Mike Keiser, workers were hired to help cut and transplant turf, among other things.
3 of 10Thomas Lovelock/SI
Eric Iverson, on loan from Tom Doak's Renaissance Golf Design and using a "wee digger," got right to work building new tee boxes after arriving at Askernish Old.
4 of 10Thomas Lovelock/SI
The fairways and greens of the current course were mowed by volunteers to create an approximation of the original.
5 of 10Thomas Lovelock/SI
The existing "greens" are surrounded by white stakes attached by a single strand of electrified wire to keep the local cows from trampling them.
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The cows, owned by the resident farmers who live there, roam freely throughout the course.
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The course that Old Tom Morris laid out in 1891 was abandoned in the 1920's, leaving only hints of its character in the rugged dunes.
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The current course, Askernish Old, is the pro bono work of Scottish links consultant Gordon Irvine and English golf architect Martin Ebert, who in 2007 produced a routing based on topographical clues and their knowledge of 19th-century greenkeeping practices.
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Sports Illustrated senior writer John Garrity is following the two-week renovation project and writing a series of articles to be published in the coming weeks.
10 of 10Thomas Lovelock/SI
Askernish Old is located on the isle of South Uist in the Outer Hebrides off the Northwest coast of Scotland.
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