A St Andrews-based golf historian has hailed Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake’s plan to open a sports bar as fantastic news for the town.
Roger McStravick says the New Picture House is the perfect venue for the venture by the US golfer and his movie star business partner.
The B-listed building sits just two doors down from the former North Street home of Old Tom Morris, known as the Grand Old Man of Golf.
And several other champion players, including St Andrews-born Allan Robertson, also lived in the street.
The “sports and entertainment gastro pub” proposal has provoked a furious backlash among hundreds of people.
However, Roger said: “I’m very excited about the project.
“That row of eight houses was a de facto golfers’ and caddies’ row.
“It is champions street and I can think of no better place for it.”
‘Things evolve – Tom Morris changed the Old Course’
Roger advises TV and film productions on golfing history and is an award-winning writer.
He is also an expert on Old Tom Morris.
And he said: “I’m excited at the bid to bring something new and creative to St Andrews. I think it’s fantastic.
“There’s a feeling that everything has to stay the same as it was in the old days.
“Well, Tom Morris created a new front line for the Old Course.
“He certainly didn’t sit back and think ‘Allan Robertson worked on this course so I shouldn’t change it’.
“Things evolve and they’ll continue to evolve.
“And this will appeal not only to golfers but to students and others.”
There are plenty of others who agree with Roger.
‘The culture has changed’
One is St Andrews Community Council member Callum MacLeod, who said last week that investment was needed.
He said the New Picture House was almost empty the last time he went and added: “If you don’t use it, you lose it.”
And he went on: “St Andrews is a tourist destination and the culture has changed.”
However, others have described it as “a celebrity vanity project” and thousands of people have signed a petition against the proposal.
Under the plan, one of the three cinema screens would be retained.
Woods and Timberlake are shareholders in real estate company Nexus Luxury Collection.
And the firm opened their first T-Squared Social in New York City last month.
If approved, St Andrews would be their second venue.