How Old Macdonald Got Its Name

Mike Keiser cares about names.  At the company he founded, Recycled Paper Greetings, he selected thousands of greeting cards, and he understood the importance of hooking people right away.  

The process of naming the other courses at Bandon Dunes had been long and drawn-out, with lots of candidates for each course.  But this name — Old Macdonald — had immediately sprung to mind, thanks to the children’s song with the funny barnyard noises.  A more grandiose name might have given the impression that this tribute course was a museum piece, a dull lesson in the history of golf architecture.  But Old Macdonald was playful and irreverent.  It sprinkled a dash of irony on the idea of a tribute.  It was different.  It was a name that could make a golfer curious, and that was exactly what Mike was aiming for.

The name had taken care of itself, but the logo had proven tricky.  Two designs emerged as finalists, and they were as different as a rose from a rooster.  Actually, one was a rooster that looked like a weathervane rooster, proud and brash, flaunting its fantail.  The other, more traditional design consisted of a round O encircling an M whose diagonal lines were golf clubs.

Mike himself seemed to prefer the rooster, but Brad Klein, one of the design consultants, thought it was silly.  When he saw the rooster logo on a hat, he said it looked as though you ought to be able to push the rooster to play the song.

To settle the matter, visitors to the Bandon Dunes pro shop were asked to choose between the two logos.  The rooster lost.

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