By: Rob Harris
Golf Digest’s John Strege has an entertaining take on “ye olde trademark infringement litigation” brought by The Olde Farm golf course against neighboring The Old Tennessean, about which we recently posted.
John’s view basically is a pox-on-both-their-houses, feeling that we should “just stipulate that the use of “olde” in a golf course name has gotten old.”
As John reminds us–since “Olde Tom Morris was unavailable for comment”–”[t]here is Olde Oaks, not to be confused with Olde Oak, Olde Sycamore or Olde Cypress.”
“There are Olde Atlanta, Olde Florida and Olde London. Olde Stone and Olde Stonewall. Olde Homestead and Olde Homeplace. Olde Point, Olde Kinderhook, Olde Barnstable, Olde Mill, Olde Beau, Olde Dutch, Olde Vine and Ye Olde Country Club,” etc.
John mercifully saves us from an comparably long list of courses who may be “Old” but not as old as olde–a small sampling of which would include Old Hickory, Old Sandwich, Old Silo, Old Trail, Old Works and Old Ranch.
And, so that we don’t lose perspective, let us remember that in St. Andrews, Scotland sits a track known to the world as the New Course, which this year observes its 120th anniversary. Of course, as the New York Times recently pointed out, unlike the case with its more celebrated older sibling, founded in 1413, “there is no New Course Hotel, no New Course signature golf cart, not even, it appears, a New Course cap, visor or T-shirt at double the reasonable price (or any price).”
So, hat’s off to today’s golf course marketers. Whether “old” or “olde”, ancient is in.