Documentary series. Neil Oliver battles the elements on a golf course designed by legendary golfer Tom Morris.
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The rugged and remote coast of the Outer Hebrides.
A coast of islands, skerries, and lochans.
Nowhere else in the British Isles can match this wonderland of stacks,
secret inlets and windswept shell sand beaches.
The Vikings called them Havbrodoy - "islands on the edge of the sea".
And the edge is exactly what it feels like.
To my east are the islands of the Inner Hebrides
and mainland Scotland itself.
Over there to the west
there's nothing but 2,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean.
This island-hopping journey takes us over 120 islands
and thousands of miles of spectacular Hebridean coastline.
Welcome to the Island Coast.
Odd things get washed up on islands.
Places like this are great for digging around
in the undisturbed past - hog heaven for someone like me.
As an archaeologist, I've found some strange things in some unexpected places.
I once found a chamber pot dropped by Zulus after the Battle of Isandlwana in South Africa,
but here on South Uist, someone has found an entire lost golf course!
Concealed for more than 70 years by a blanket of wild flowers and grassland, the discovery
of this course is the golfing equivalent of stumbling across a forgotten Picasso masterpiece.
But the artist here was golf legend Old Tom Morris.
To find out about Old Tom's forgotten masterpiece,
I'm meeting up with green keeper Gordon Irvine, and local golfer Donald MacInnes.
So, tell me more about what Tom Morris did. Why's he such a name?
Well, he was the original golf professional at St Andrews.
He won the Open Championship on four occasions.
His most famous work would undoubtedly be his work on the Old Course, as we know it, at St Andrews.
Prestwick, Carnoustie, Royal Dornoch.
For decades after, people came and studied his work,
and that then went to other parts of the world - to help design courses there.
There had long been rumours of a lost Tom Morris course here on South Uist,
but until now, no-one believed it existed.
The discovery of a 19th century golf almanac proved that Old Tom created a course
here at the behest of Lady Cathcart, the owner of the island.
After some careful detective work, Gordon and Donald located the exact site of the original course.
Now, Gordon, my idea of a golf course is something carefully manicured.
Where is the golf course?
This is golf in its sheer, raw state, and here it's as much about playing against
the harsh elements as it is about hitting the golf balls.
You've got your classic dune system created by the Atlantic swell,
as they had no earth-moving machinery back then, so they found and plotted the golf courses
-through the natural terrain rather than trying to move anything.
This is the Holy Grail of golf. This is the one we've been searching for.
It was lost for so long because it fell into disuse and became
overgrown after the island was sold in the early 1900s.
But Donald and the local club plan to restore the course to its former glory,
and with Gordon's know-how, they have already worked out old Tom's original layout.
I see you've got a flag in there.
If that's the green, are we on the tee for that?
As far as we can tell, this would be the teeing area. It would be somewhere in this location.
What you're looking at here is that classic short par four links hole.
Donald, you've played it.
-How does it play?
-It's hard to believe, when you see the flag
so close to you, that you can hit a fantastic shot, good clean contact and still only about 210-215 yards.
What club would you recommend?
Today? Probably a low flying rocket just to assist the flight of the ball.
This is raw golf.
For adventurous players, this is as exciting as it gets.
What are the chances?
You think a wide, low stance?
Absolutely, keep your balance.
You dancer! Look at that!
-Not too shabby.
-That was a cracker.
-A disaster obviously!
You wanted to play off the beach for your second shot!
Oh, I'm great on the beach.
This is going to be the best golf course in the world, mark my words.
It's my tee.
Is the secretary in?
I tried the clubhouse, but it seems to be shut.
Our journey up the Outer Hebrides continues along North Uist to Balranald.
The coast here is dramatic and unspoilt.
These fertile plains are one of the rarest habitats in Europe.
This sandy grassland is known as machair.
The machair forms on the coast as wind-blown sand
settles like a dusting of pepper over the peaty land and nature blooms.
There's an abundance of wild flowers, from humble daisies,
through buttercups, to the more exotic-looking orchids and ragged robin.
The flowers attract insects and birds, making the Balranald Nature Reserve a haven for wildlife.
Leaving behind the low-lying plains of North Uist,
we're heading north over the water to the mountainous terrain of Harris.
Most of us do the majority of our travelling overland,
but long before there were any roads,
the fastest and most efficient way of getting around the place was by boat.
I'm John MacAulay
or Seonaidh MacAmhlaigh, as I prefer to be known in my own language.
I was born and brought up here on the island of Harris.
I'm a boat builder, traditional boat builder, working with wood all the time.
I started an apprenticeship when I was 16, building steel ships in a Glasgow shipyard,
but...I always preferred smaller boats.
I came back to Harris about
30 years ago,
and have been working here ever since then.
There's been a shed on this site
as far back as I remember, and I built my first ever boat in here.
I was probably about 20 or 21.
Just a small boat - 12-foot rowing boat.
So, strong feelings for this place.
I think it's important with all craft skills, that these are passed on from generation to generation.
They're basic survival skills.
It doesn't matter what sphere of work you're in - the skills should be passed on.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd 2006