The History Behind the British Open

The History Behind the British Open

Golf is a game of tradition. As a landmark South Florida country club, we are aficionados of golf history. We believe that we should pass on our knowledge of golf traditions and tournament traditions to the next generation. The British Open, also known simply as the Open, has a long and storied past. As the 2021 Open winds down, we thought it would be interesting to look at the history behind the British Open.


When Did the First British Open Take Place?

The 2021 British Open marks its 149th edition of the tournament. As a result, you may think that because 2021 minus 149 is 1872, that would mean that the first British Open took place in 1872; however, this is not the case. The first Open was played on October 17, 1860. While the tournament is a yearly occurrence, complications in history have caused the competition not to be played in some years. Understandably, coronavirus caused the cancelation of the 2020 Open, but this was not the only cancelation of the event. 

The first cancelation of the tournament occurred in 1871. A golfer named Tom Morris won the three previous Opens, and as a result, was given the ceremonial trophy at the time, the Challenge Belt. Until Tom Morris’ third victory, the belt was returned by the previous victor, to be competed for again. In 1870, they decided to award Tom Morris full possession of the belt, meaning there was no trophy to compete for in 1871. 

Other cancellations were more obvious, with the tournament not being held from 1915-1919 and 1940-1945 due to World War I and World War II. 


The History of the Claret Jug

As the Challenge Belt became the personable property of Tom Morris, the tournament needed a new prize. The Claret Jug, or the winner’s trophy, was created in 1872; however, this award was not finished by the end of the 1872 Open, which Tom Morris also won. As a result, Morris was instead presented with an engraved medal. This new tradition of a medal was adopted and has been used since the 1872 tournament. Like the Challenge Belt, the Claret Jug must be returned by the winner and competed for at the next tournament. 


When Was the First Claret Jug Awarded?

The first Claret Jug was awarded in 1873 to then-winner Tom Kidd. The original Claret Jug was retired and placed in a museum. 


The History of the Current Claret Jug

The current Claret Jug was first awarded and presented at the 1928 Open to Walter Hagen. The trophy is still returned by the winner, who receives an engraved medal and replica to keep. 


Today’s British Open

As the tournament comes to a close, we welcome the sight of a new custodian of the Claret Jug. The tournament concludes tomorrow July 18, 2021, at Royal Saint George’s Golf Course, where a new champion will most likely be crowned. 

While we’re not fortunate or talented enough to play the British Open, we do have the luck to play at our esteemed South Florida Golf Course regularly. Contact us today to play at our beautiful course, or view our membership page for more information. 


Related Readings:

History of Golf in South Florida

20 Surprising Facts About Golf

How to Stay Safe from Lightning Strikes On a Golf Course

How to Stay Safe from Lightning Strikes On a Golf Course

Living in Florida, it is no secret that in the spring and summer months, rain showers can appear out of nowhere. Though the rainy season is predictable and showers can be timed like clockwork daily, there are still times where the unexpected shower or storm occurs. Many golf courses are starting to equip themselves with lightning detection systems that will set off an alarm when it detects lightning within a certain distance from the course. Others have an additional system that is able to predict storms and read the conditions of the atmosphere. Whether the course you are playing is outfitted with these technologies or not, it is always a good idea to check with the staff and learn their policy regarding lightning. A bogey may ruin your golf game for a hole but being struck by lightning will ruin your golf game forever. Our golf professionals can tell you your odds of being struck by lightning on the golf course and how to stay safe from lightning strikes.

Fun Facts About Lightning

You may think you know all there is to know about lightning strikes, but our South Florida country club can tell you five surprising facts about lightning that you may not know!

  1. The air in a lightning strike can be as hot as 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Lightning usually strikes outside of heavy rain bands and may happen as far as 10 miles away from where it is raining.
  3. Most people who are struck by lightning are outside in the summer months in the afternoon or evening.
  4. When lightning hits the ground, it can create as much as 100 million to 100 billion volts of electricity.
  5. The length of a lightning strike from cloud to ground can be anywhere from 2 miles to 10.

What Is the Likelihood of Being Struck by Lightning?

The odds of being struck by lightning on a golf course is 1:3,000. The odds of becoming a lightning victim in the US is 1:700,000. Lightning can kill people or cause cardiac arrest, severe burns, permanent brain damage, memory loss, and personality changes. According to National Geographic, “About 10 percent of lightning-strike victims are killed and 70 percent suffer serious long-term effects. About 400 people survive lightning strikes in the U.S. each year.” 1

How to Stay Safe from Being Struck by Lightning

To minimize your odds of being struck by lightning on a golf course, there are a few things that our experts recommend you do.

  1. Frequently check the weather forecast.
    Though it may seem like the simplest thing you can do to reduce your odds of being struck by lightning on a golf course, many golfers fail to keep an eye on the weather during their round. Before hitting the links, make sure to check your weather app or download a weather app that has alerts for things like severe storms, tornados, or lightning.
  2. Download a radar app.
    A reliable radar app will also drastically lower your odds of being struck by lightning on a golf course. There are some radar apps that you can download on your phone that can detect a storm within a radius of 10 miles. The radar will tell you how far the storm is from you, giving you enough time to prepare.
  3. Immediately find shelter.
    Look for shelter immediately when there are signs of a storm and before your tee time. Make sure that you are aware of all the places to shelter near each hole and be sure avoid standing under any trees or in golf carts, do not hold your clubs, stay away from water, and remove any metal spiked shoes.

Deer Creek golf club invites you to enjoy a round on our world-renowned, championship signature course. We are open to the general public and also offer annual, residential, seasonal, and weekly memberships!




  1. National Geographic – Flash Facts About Lightning
Deer Creek Golf Club’s Predictions for the Master’s Tournament 2019

Deer Creek Golf Club’s Predictions for the Master’s Tournament 2019

It’s that time of the year again folks: Master’s Tournament 2019! Each year, our golf connoisseurs at our Deer Creek golf course like to predict the winners of the U.S. Majors, and each year we anticipate our predictions proving true. In most cases, the outcome reflects our projections pretty closely; those we expect to end up on top usually do, as second or third place winners are usually those from our predictions.

Our South Florida golf course not only enjoys predicting the winners, but we also like to determine who will be the most interesting to watch. With that being said, the tournament never goes the way you might expect at the Augusta National Golf Club, mainly due to the fact that it’s a very popular golf club with a challenging course that’s played every year.

The Masters Tournament will begin on Thursday, April 11, and end on Sunday, April 14. It will take place at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, GA, and just like the year prior, the winner will take home the prize money purse of $11 million. So, as per tradition at our South Florida golf course, here are our 2 highly-anticipated victors for the Masters 2019.


Jordan Spieth

Having not been in the top 10 on the PGA Tour since last July due to his loss of the 54-hole lead, Spieth has been working hard to regain his position. On Friday, March 15, Spieth had completed the round with a “69 for a 36-hole total of one-over 145,” 1 which is just two strokes away from qualifying to play that weekend.

Despite his recent shortcomings, Spieth plans to perfect his swings in the weeks leading up to the 83rd edition of the Master’s Tournament. He’s the winner of three major titles, including his victory at 2017 British Open at Royal Birkdale and Spieth accomplished a last-minute charge to third-place at last year’s Master’s. Here, at our South Florida golf course, we always root for the underdog!


Patrick Reed

As part of the tradition, of course, we can’t leave out the winner of last year’s Master’s in our predictions. Patrick Reed scored his victory last year with a three-foot par-saving putt that would earn him his first win in a major championship. He managed to shoot 71 in the final round and completed at 15-under 273, brushing past Rickie Fowler.


Do you have any predictions of your own for the Master’s Tournament 2019? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below and feel free to contact us to learn more about our Deer Creek golf course.



  1. The New York Times – “Jordan Spieth, ‘Getting Tired’ of His Slump, Misses Another Cut”
How to Improve Your Short Game

How to Improve Your Short Game

A nice, relaxing game of golf may be just what you need as an escape from daily life. However, you may be stumped on executing the perfect shots. It all starts with your short game. Short game is all about control. Once you nail it, expect your performance to improve and your confidence to increase. We’re sharing a few golf short game basics to improve your short game at our Deer Creek golf course.


Soften Your Grip for Chip Shots

First things first: loosen up your grip. Most rookie golfers make the mistake of keeping a tight grip, not knowing their grip can make or break their round – especially their short game. As you’re chipping, remember to keep your hands soft and maintain a medium grip. A loosened grip will also ease the tension in the wrists and arms. Once you softened your grip, you can then focus on a basic chipping stance by holding your chin high and your back straight.


Rotate Your Body

Sure, chipping and pitching is all about short shots, but if you want a firm hit on the golf ball, it’s important to rotate your body forward as you swing.

First, swing the clubhead back and then, point the right knee towards your left knee to help maximize your downswing. This method will clear your right side and help you get better rotation through the swing to further improve your short game.


Swing in Tempo

Another rookie mistake that tends to happen on the average South Florida golf course is swinging at the ball with too much speed. Indeed, speed and force are needed to power off the tee, yet, for your short game, it’s another story.

Just relax and pace yourself. Soften your grip, take a deep breath and count off in a “one and” tempo for the backswing, proceeded by “two” on the downswing.


Concentrate on Your Left Arm

When it comes to improving your short game, this strategy is probably the most important. Your whole left side, from the wrist, hand, and arm, must lead the way as you aim for the ball and hit it with the center of the club. This is where your control comes from, so don’t neglect it!

Once you improve your short game, you’ll increase your chances of making a shot when you chip or pitch at our South Florida golf course. Want to learn more tips on how improve your overall golf game? Feel free to reach out to our friendly staff at our Deer Creek golf course.