Co-Founder of Open Championship to be Honored

Coodham House, the former home of one of golf's pioneers, is the first location in the world to receive a commemorative plaque honoring historic heroes of the game. James Ogilvy Fairlie was the founder of the Open Championship, yet his contribution to the sport has been largely forgotten.

Now, the Links Association, which was set up to champion links courses around the world and promote the game as it began, plans to erect a permanent tribute to Fairlie at Coodham House in Ayrshire, Scotland.

The Victorian mansion, built in 1826 near Symington, has been restored and rebuilt. It was where Fairlie and his close friend Old Tom Morris planned the creation of nearby Prestwick Golf Course and the first Open Championship.

The 96-acre estate is just minutes from Troon, Turnberry, Dundonald, Prestwick and numerous other courses, including The Ayrshire - a new links course being planned for Irvine Bay.

Fairlie, a former captain of the Royal and Ancient in St. Andrews, is the only man to win gold medals in competitions at the Old Course, Prestwick and North Berwick. He was a mentor to Old Tom, who served as his caddie. They were such close friends that Old Tom named his second son James Ogilvy Fairlie Morris.

"I'm delighted that a plaque commemorating James Ogilivy Fairlie and his contribution to the game of golf is to be erected at Coodham House," said Malcolm Campbell, chief executive of the Links Association. "It's absolutely fantastic and a real tribute to Fairlie. I'm sure he'd be delighted.

"Outside of golfing circles, not many people know he was the man who inspired Old Tom Morris to build Prestwick and subsequently ran the first Open Championship way back in 1860. To create a tangible memorial to the man who inspired all of that at the house where he did a lot of the planning is fantastic."

Fairlie is the first in a number of great golfing heroes to be honored by the Links Association, which has plans to erect memorials to other golfing greats such as Freddie Tait from Edinburgh, two-time winner of the Amateur Championship and the Open Championship, and Allan Robertson from St. Andrews, the first great professional golfer. Scotland has a great golfing heritage and we want to honour those pioneers who helped create the world wide game we have today," added Campbell.

Fairlie and Old Tom regularly stayed at Coodham and played golf on the grounds while planning Prestwick. Both were seminal figures in golf history so Coodham is the ideal location for the first Links Association plaque.

Prestwick was the birthplace of the Open and professional tournament golf. It has hosted a total of 24 Opens, more than any other course other than the Old Course at St. Andrews.

Despite the fact that Fairlie has been almost forgotten in his native land, he is remembered further afield. Coodham House, which now contains four apartments, two duplex residences and three designer homes created from the former East Wing, Chapel and West Wing, ranging in price from 330,000 to 750,000, has attracted interest simply because of its history and proximity to some of the most famous golf courses in the world.

"There's an overwhelming amount of interest in Coodham House because it was the one time family home of James Ogilvy Fairlie," said Lindy Leburn of VIP Sales Representative. "We've had a lot of interest from people in America, Canada, Singapore and Scandinavia as well as the UK."

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