British Open History

British Open Golf Championship History

British Open Golf HistoryThe history of the British Open Golf Championship is a rich one, next year in fact will be its 150th year. The Open Championship itself was first played and organised at and by the Prestwick Golf Club in 1860. It is the eldest of the four major golfing tournaments in the world today. Originally the winner of the tournament was presented with a red leather belt with a silver buckle. Prize money was not offered until 1863 when £10 was offered up as the prize fund that was to be shared by the 2nd, 3rd and 4th players. The winner got nothing more than the red leather belt something that he had to return the following year.

This tradition ended in 1870 when young Tom Morris won the championship three years in succession and was allowed to keep it. The following year saw the introduction of the Golf Champion trophy, better known as the Claret Jug. An exact replica of the trophy is the one presented today.

In 1892 the event was doubled in length from 36 holes to 72, played over four rounds of 18 holes. The tournament became extremely popular that it became necessary from 1898 to halve the field at the halfway stage by using the introduction of the cut.

By 1920 the Royal & Ancient Golf Club took over full administration of the tournament from the Prestwick Golf club. The early winners of the ‘Open’ had all been mainly Scotsmen, who had worked in some capacity at various golf clubs in order to supplement their then meagre prize winnings.

Open Golf TournamentThe Championship has always been dominated by professional players; the last amateur to win was the legendary Bobby Jones who won in 1930. After the Second World War the tournament almost became the domain of Commonwealth players, with Bobby Locke of South Africa and Peter Thompson of Australia winning the ‘Claret Jug’ nine times between the years of 1948 and 1958. In 1959, Gary Player won his first Championship and it was he that encouraged the world’s golfing elite to make the effort and compete in the Open. It was also the start of the period when the ‘big 3’, Player, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer became the world’s golfing greats. Between them they were ‘Open’ winners 8 times.

Since then, as will be seen in the Open Championship 2012 line up, the Tournament has increased hugely in stature. It is still regarded as the number one major golf tournament in the world; it has a glittering array of golfing talent who have their names proudly engraved on the ‘Claret Jug’.

Golf betting too has a history at the British Open. From the small wagers and side bets that were always made by the players, golf betting has risen to become one of the biggest betting markets in sport. The generous British Open Golf odds, Open Championship tips and the many free bet offers have become very attractive and have enormous and beneficial affect on the sport.