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

Top 4 Major Golf Tournaments

Top 4 Major Golf Tournaments

Winning even one of the four major golf tournaments is seen as one of the highest peaks in a golfer’s career. Winners of golf majors hold a prestigious title, are a part of golf history, and receive a substantial reward. The golf enthusiasts at our South Florida golf course are sharing everything you need to know about the top 4 major golf tournaments on the horizon.

What Are the Four Major Golf Tournaments?

If you were to ask any professional golfer, they will tell you that the major championships are the most prestigious golf tournaments in the nation. The four major golf tournaments include the Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open, and the Open Championships, also known as the British Open. 

When Are the Golf Majors? 

The major golf tournaments are held annually throughout the spring and summer seasons. 

  • The Masters is held in April
  • The PGA Championship is held in May 
  • The U.S. Open is held in June 
  • The Open Championship is held in July 

The Masters Golf Tournament

To kick off the major golf tournaments, qualified professional golfers gather at the Augusta National Golf Club, where only exclusive members such as Bill Gates can play a round of golf, to compete in The Masters, which is considered one of the most prestigious golf tournaments of all. The Masters was first played in 1934 and the popular green jacket awarded alongside the trophy was introduced in 1949. 

The current Masters Champion is Tiger Woods; the professional golfer won over $2 million back in 2019. Tiger Woods has a collection of 5 green jackets, go figure!  

What Does The Masters Green Jacket Symbolize? 

The Masters green jacket is the ultimate symbol of a person’s success in golf. It shows the world that the major golf tournament winner is now an honorary member of the Augusta National Golf Club.

The green jackets are kept on the grounds of the Augusta National Golf Club and removal is forbidden unless you have been declared the champion. The current Masters champion is allowed to take the green jacket home for 12 months, after which they must return it to the golf club. 

PGA Championships 

The PGA Championship is another one of the four major golf tournaments and is played on a variety of courses throughout the United States. While the PGA Championship has traditionally been hosted on the East Coast, it’s expected to move to the West Coast in 2021, at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. 

The winner of this big golf tournament receives a replica of the original Wanamaker trophy. The original Wanamaker Trophy is currently on display at the PGA Gallery in Florida. The current PGA Champion is Brooks Koepka, who has won in both 2018 and 2019. 

U.S Open Golf Tournament 

The United States Open Championship, known as the toughest of all four majors in golf, is not only one of the biggest golf tournaments but it’s actually staged by the United States Golf Association (USGA) instead of the PGA. This big golf tournament sparks a lot of controversy as many golfers believe that the course is too difficult, really challenging golfers. 

This major golf tournament has been won by Americans 85 times compared to the 34 winners from other countries. The current U.S Open champion is Gary Woodland. 

The Open Championship – The British Open 

The last major golf tournament of the year is The Open Championship, also known as The British Open or simply The Open. It’s not just the only golf tournament held outside of the U.S, it is also the oldest golf tournament in the world. 

The winner of The Open Championship gets the honorary title of “Champion Golfer of the Year,” a title that every professional golfer aspires to have. The current Champion Golfer of the Year is Shane Lowry, who won the major golf tournament in his home country of Ireland at the Royal Portrush. 

Becoming a Professional Golfer

Do you want to become the next professional golfer and play like some of the champions at the major golf tournaments? Swing by Deer Creek Golf Club and check out our incredible golf club membership deals. Whether you’re a novice who wants to learn the game or a more intermediate golfer who’s looking to brush up your skills, we offer golf lessons at our schools in the area that can give you tips to improve your golf game at home and on the course. 

Get everything you need to become the next major golf champion like Tiger Woods at our on-site pro golf shop. To book your next corporate golf tournament or schedule a tee time at our golf club, call or contact us today.  

 

Additional Reading: 

Adam Sandler’s 25th Anniversary Tribute to Happy Gilmore

Cringeworthy Stories About Cheating in Golf 

The Best Golf TV Shows to Watch  

An Ode to Golfers

An Ode to Golfers

To our fellow golfers, we thought we’d share some an ode to golfers or two for you to read. Remember these odes to golfers next time you’re playing a corporate golf tournament or having some good old fun at your South Florida golf course.

 

1. Is There A Golf Course In Heaven by Harold R Hunt SR

Is there a golf course in heaven
Is there a golf course in heaven
O’lord of mine. 
I have cheated 
I have lied 
I have killed
I have steal
I have made people sad 
I have made people mad.
But I just want to know one thing before I go.
Is the a golf course in heaven? 

 

2. Golf Poem by H H Rutledge

Some might say that God had a plan
For every other woman, child and man,
To grab a club and hurry, hurry
Onto the green no later than early.
To hit little balls into the air.
Where do they fall? Somewhere out there.
‘Twas Babe, Palmer, The Bear, and Ben..
Now Tiger’s throngs are puttin’ to win.
I know not why it rules their souls,
This little ball.. this little hole.
In short I’m wet.. I stand ashake.
My favorite ball fell in the lake.

 

3. Golf Of Course by Ima Ryma

Two craggy Scots, Angus and Hank,
Had golfed a round of eighteen holes.
In the clubhouse, they sat and drank
Scotch to warm their bodies and souls.
It was a blustery raw day.
The wind howled fierce off the North Sea.
Sleet whipped down from skies dark and gray,
As nasty as nasty can be.
Hank and Angus thawed out some more.
Ice melted from their beards, and drips
Fell into puddles on the floor.
Angus asked Hank in between sips.
“Same time next week we be hittin’?”
“Aye,” Hank said, “Weather permittin’.”

Thoughts, Feelings and Predictions for the US Open 2018 | Deer Creek

Thoughts, Feelings and Predictions for the US Open 2018 | Deer Creek

The US Open 2018 is just around the corner, and it’s one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world, so naturally we have to weigh in on the spectacle.

This year, the tournament will take place at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Tuckahoe, NY. To this day, the US Open has never been held on a South Florida golf course and that’s likely because June is a hot month for golf in Florida.

Our Thoughts (And Prayers for the US Open 2018)

What are we hoping for this year? We are hoping that Tiger Woods gives a compelling performance, not for the sport, but just for himself. It would be great to see Tiger back in the “swing” of things. The man has been so plagued by controversy and negative attention in the past decade. We would love to see him doing well again.

Soccer World Cup Viewers?

The US Open 2018 begins on June 14, the same day as the Soccer World Cup, and that could affect viewership. There are, of course, a number of die-hard golf fans who will be watching, but casual viewers might instead turn to the spectacle of the opening game of soccer this year.

US Open 2017 Winner – Brooks Koepka

It has already been a year since Brooks Koepka won the US Open 2017. Koepka took first place at Erin Hills, arguably one of the most challenging US Open tournament courses in recent memory. Since then, he has managed to remain in the PGA Tour top 10, at 9th place. But he hasn’t registered as well in most other tournaments.

Right now, Koepka’s odds of winning are holding steady at 40/1. Not great odds for a former champion. No lists register him as a favorite for this year’s tournament.

Jason Day’s Year in Golf 2016

Jason Day is in first place in the official world golf ranking. He has hit the golf scene like a tornado, and after looking at Jason Day’s statistics, it is easy to understand why. Whether he is playing golf in South Florida or in Scotland, he is a great dominator.

For the year 2016, Jason Day’s statistics are impressive.

Early in 2016, he played golf in South Florida at the Arnold Palmer Invitation, in which he won. Day then went on to take the title for the WGC-Dell Match Play and the Players Championship. His second place spot in the PGA Championship may have been a disappointment for some who believed he would win, but most golf fans agree that he is in contention to win the PGA title next year.

There are a lot of golf fans who feel as if there is a void in the sport caused by the indefinite hiatus of Tiger Woods. No one is sure who will take his place as the next great ambassador of golf, but the truth is there will likely never be a golfer as great as Woods. However, Jason Day is making a big impact on the sport, and he is just as entraining to watch as the legendary Woods.

The golf community expects big things from Jason Day, in which he is likely to deliver.

Jason Day’s Statistics Overall:

World Golf Rank: 1

Scoring Average: 69.2 handicap

Driving Range: 303.4 ft.

Putting: 1.154 (making him the current best short game golfer)

PGA Tour Wins: 10

PGA Top 10 Finishes: 57

Celebrity Golfers and Their Handicaps

The game of golf is beloved by so many that even celebrities have taken to the game in order to relax and spend time with friends or colleagues. In fact, golf is an extremely popular game among celebrities, much like how corporate CEOs take to the green. Deer Creek Golf Course in Deerfield Beach has witnessed many celebrities hit the greens for a day with friends, and the following are well-known, celebrity golf handicaps.

Bill Gates – Index 24.3

Like most CEO’s, Bill Gates worked on his golf, although he was not that great at it.

Clint Eastwood – Index 14.5

Eastwood’s golf handicap is not too bad, doubly so when you realize that he is 86 years old.

Keven Costner – Index 11.4

Roy McAvoy from Tin Cup, Keven Costner does not hit as well as his character, but he did play one hell of a golfer in the movie and that has to count for something…maybe a mulligan?

Wayne Gretzsky – Index 8.5

Gretzsky, better known as the legend who used a stick and hurled objects in a different setting, is a decent golfer. He will never be the next Tiger Woods, but his golf handicap is still better than most celebrities on top of the fact that he is a champion ice hockey player.

Bill Murray – Index 7.2

Carl Spackler from the movie Caddy Shack, Bill Murray, is actually a good golfer. In fact, he learned the game so well that he may have been seen once or twice at a championship golf course in South Florida.

Michael Jordan 1.9

Big Mike! Jordan is an all-round great athlete. He is a living basketball legend, he tried his hand at baseball, and he has a monster index that puts him ahead of almost all other celebrity golfer handicaps.