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

The Best Golf TV Shows to Watch

The Best Golf TV Shows to Watch

With the spread of a pandemic, many golf courses have closed to protect their patrons and staff. Our South Florida golf course is once again open to the public, but we understand that some of our guests may not be ready to return just yet. The coronavirus may be keeping you off your favorite green, but there’s no reason why you still can’t indulge in the game of golf from the comfort of your couch! Our South Florida country club wants to share the best golf tv shows to watch while at home. (more…)

Winner of U.S. Women’s Open 2019: Jeonguen Lee6

Winner of U.S. Women’s Open 2019: Jeonguen Lee6

This past Sunday at the Country Club of Charleston, South Carolina, professional South Korean golfer Jeongeun Lee6 won the 74th annual U.S. Women’s Open and the purse of $1 million – the largest cash prize of the Women’s Open in history. Lee6 – who turned 23 last week – has pursued golf as an amateur since the age of 4 years old, after her father became paralyzed in a vehicular accident after falling asleep behind the wheel.

“By looking at my family situation back then, I thought about wanting to play golf because I wanted to support my family no matter what,” Lee6 said through a translator. “I told my family that I wanted to play on the LPGA Tour for a long time. I want to thank my family, who are in Korea watching me on TV and supporting me all the time. I couldn’t imagine it without you guys, with all your support.” [1]

And, in case you’re wondering, Lee6’s name isn’t a typo – she’s the sixth professional golfer named Jeongeun Lee in KLPGA history. In regard to her surname, her fan club in South Korea is called “Lucky 6.”

During Sunday’s  U.S. Women’s Golf Open 2019, Lee6 shot a 1-under 70, experiencing some turbulent moments after starting on a three-stroke lead with three to play to hold off third-round co-leader, Celine Boutier. Lee6 was in the lead by three after a birdie on the par-5 15th, however, received bogeys on the 16th and 18th, giving Boutier a chance over the last two holes.

In the end, Lee6 finished at 6-under 278 to win the U.S. Women’s Open purse of $1 million. The tears streamed down her face upon realizing her victory has made the tournament’s history.

Our staff of golf enthusiasts looks forward to more victory’s from Jeongeun Lee6 in the future to come. Stay up to date with our South Florida golf course for more golf news, tips, and more!

 

Sources

[1] The Guardian – Jeongeun Lee6 turned to pro golf ‘to support my family no matter what’

 

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.