Golf is arguably the most popular and prestigious sport in the whole world. It is a sport played with precision making use of clubs to drive balls into holes with the aim to have fewer strokes as much as possible. It is unique from other sports in that it doesn’t have a standard playing area. Golf courses vary in features, sizes, difficulty, and more. All over the world, there are thousands of golf courses, golf events, and clubs that enthusiasts get to enjoy. Golf competitions are major sporting events that attract millions of dollars in revenues, advertisements, merchandises, and prizes.
Professional golf is known to have four major professional tournaments namely the US Masters, the US Open, the US PGA Championships, and the British Open Championship. The British Open Championship is the oldest among the four mentioned major golf competitions and is the only one that is being held outside the United States. It is simply called The Open and most people from outside the United Kingdom refer to it as the British Open. The R&A or the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, being the only governing body of golf events outside the United States and Mexico administers the British Open Championship.
The British Open Championship’s inaugural tournament was held at Ayrshire, Scotland’s well known Prestwick Golf club on the 17th of October, 1860. This first golf competition for the British Open Championship was restricted only to professional golfers and eight Scottish golfers signed up for the said golf event. In just one day, they completed 3 twelve-hole rounds. From the second time it was held, amateur golfers were then invited to the event.
There are 9 links courses in England and Scotland that alternates as the venue for this famous golf event. For the current year, the British Open Championship has managed to amass a total prize fund of £5.0 million with £900,000 going to the grand winner. Harry Vardon holds a record of 6 wins for this golf event. Young Tom Morris, being the youngest winner of the British Open Championship has a record of 4 consecutive wins.
The British Open Championship first awarded the Challenge Belt to its champion as the prize. The Golf Champion Trophy, or commonly known as the Claret Jug, then replaced the Challenge Belt as the winner’s trophy after Young Tom Morris won the belt outright after winning the golf competition 3 consecutive times. Prestwick’s club members decided to share Open Championship with R&A and the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. They decided alternately stage the golf event and chip in for the creation of the Claret Jug golf trophy for £30. The Mackay Cunningham & Company was assigned this task of creating the famous Claret Jug golf trophy. The Claret Jug trophy is arguably one of the most iconic and recognizable among golf trophies as it is widely regarded as the pinnacle of all a professional golfer’s achievements.
France’s famous winemaking region of Bordeaux is very well known for producing a red wine called Claret, the namesake of this famous golf trophy. In 19th century gatherings, silver claret jugs were used to serve claret. Young Tom Morris was supposed to be the first one to have received the Claret Jug as a golf trophy but it was not yet commissioned in 1972 so it was first given away to Tom Kidd in 1973. The original Claret Jug is being permanently displayed at The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews since 1928 together with the Challenge Belt after it was donated by the Morris family in 1908.
The Claret Jug golf trophy still remains one of the most coveted golf trophies in the world of golf. Together with the British Open Championship, it continues to draw in crowds every year whenever the golf event is held.