A history of The Open: the oldest golfing tournament
Since 1860, the world’s best golfers have come together to take on the toughest links courses in the UK and be crowned the winner of The Open, the oldest and most international championship in professional golf.
The competition was founded with one purpose; to crown the Champion Golfer of the Year, and the winner of this prestigious accolade is presented with one of the most iconic trophies in sport – the Claret Jug. However, the Claret Jug, or to use it’s official name the Champion Trophy, is not the original prize. At the first ever Open at Prestwick in 1860, the winner was presented with the Challenge Belt worth £25, which was made of rich Moroccan leather and embellished with a silver buckle and emblems. It wasn’t until 1873 that the famous trophy still used today was introduced.
That first meeting on 17 October 1860 changed the history of the sport. Eight professionals came together at Prestwick to decide who would be crowned the Champion Golfer. Competitors played three rounds on the then 12-hole links course, with Willie Park Sr beating Old Tom Morris by two shots. It was announced a year later that the tournament would be open to the rest of the world.
The Open has seen the world’s greatest face the unrelenting challenge to lift the Claret Jug, from earlier greats such as Harry Vardon and Walter Hagen, to legends such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Seve Ballesteros, right through to the talents of more recent years with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy battling it out for the title.
This year sees the tournament return to Carnoustie for the eighth time, following dramatic play-off finals on the last three occasions the Scottish town has played host to the event. The links course has a reputation for being one of the most challenging courses due to the strong winds from the Angus coast, combined with its thick rough and devilish bunkers.
The 147th edition of The Open will be played from 15 – 22 July 2018 and you can book your official hospitality for the event now. Alternatively, contact our expert team who can help you ensure your Open experience is the best it can possibly be.