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Sunday
Feb102013

Links Trust Finally Cracks Down On St. Andrews Meddlers!

...just not the ones screwing around with the most sacred ground in golf.

No, it seems the Links Trust of St. Andrews that is charged with caring for the seven courses and the same group that rolled over when R&A Chief Architect Peter Dawson decided he could improve golf's most sacred architecture, has decided to crack down on St. Andrews companies that have been using the St. Andrews name for just a mere 150 years. How dare they!

According to an unbylined Scotsman story, the Links Trust is fighting the club and bag makers after learning they were attempting to trademark some of their stuff.

Ewan Glen, chief executive of the St Andrews Golf Company, said: “What has happened is absolutely outrageous. The trust was set up to run the golf courses and it is dripping with money received from the public in green fees. Money and power seems to have gone to its head and [it is] now resorting to bullying and threatening businesses that have been in St Andrews for generations.

“I fully understand that the ‘St Andrews’ name needs to be protected from the threat of counterfeiting and copying but the trust is acting like a hard-nosed commercial company, rather than a not-for-profit trust. They [the trustees] are pretending to be the only legitimate custodians and seem to want to play God with the name of St Andrews.”

Glen added: “We have been told by the trust they will take us all the way legally even if it means going to judicial review and they have made it clear they will spend as much as it takes to knock our company out of this battle."

If only we could get them this worked up over changes to the trademark design features.

And as you can see from the St Andrews Golf Company website, they're not exactly using the town name in vain!

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Reader Comments (10)

The golf company website states they have been in business for a mere 130 years. It would seem that enough time has elapsed that the general public would not confuse the trust with the golf equipment company of the same name.
Hopefully, the trust has an existing relationship with the town and university and will allow them to retain their names.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered Commentergov. lepetomane
A page right out of the Pebble Beach Company playbook.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Clayman
I noticed on the front page of the St. Andrews Golf Company website there was a putter called "The Antler" with this description...

"Each year the stags shed their antlers to allow new ones to grow, as the horns grow they develop a cover of soft skin known as velvet, this is highly sought after for herbal medicine in places like China."

Or by Vijay Singh. Gotta love the interconnectedness of things.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRickABQ
Unfortunately for the Trust, a court case would risk having the courts decide that the name St Andrews is in the public domain.

Off the top of my head, I can name the following entities that use the name:
1) The City of St Andrews; and 2) The university in St Andrews.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrad Ford
I visited their shop around the corner from the 18th green a couple of years ago. I commented on their hickory reproductions, and the shopkeeper, it may have actually been Ewan Glen, reminded me that these were not reproductions, as they never stopped producing them.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Matre
Typo alert Geoff...no period after St. (unless it ends a sentence)
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRobert Matre
Pinehurst did the same thing about 10 years ago. For example, restricting the use of the name Pinehurst forced several local courses to rename and rebrand. I think most just dropped Pinehurst out of their name.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjstiles
@ Brad Ford ... I thought that to begin with as well until I read the article again. The Trust is claiming that intellectual property is breached when an association with golf is included. That said, do the people of St.Andrews (whom the Trust claim to represent) actually object to a company which is more than three times older than the Trust? I don't think so!
seems a bit off to me-there's been a St Andrews golf co. for absolutely ages.
02.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChico
I'm with you Ewan. Fight them all the way.
02.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike Stevens

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