The Open Championship, often referred to as The Open or The British Open, is the oldest golf tournament in the world, and one of the most prestigious. Founded in 1860, it was originally held annually at Prestwick Golf Club, Scotland, before evolving to being rotated between a select group of coastal links golf courses in the United Kingdom, under the authority of the R&A.
It is called The Open, because it is in theory “open” to all, i.e. professional and amateur golfers. In practice, the current event is a professional tournament in which a small number of the world’s leading amateurs also play, by invitation or qualification. The success of the tournament has led to many other open golf tournaments to be introduced around the world.
For more than 160 years, the world’s best players have faced the unrelenting challenge of links golf at The Open, golf’s original and most international Championship.
On 17 October 1860, eight professional golfers assembled at Prestwick for a tournament to determine who would be the Champion Golfer.
Over the years of The British Open, several awards have been given out for various achievements. Some of these include the Challenge Belt, The Gold Medal, The Silver Medal, and the Bronze Medal. Today perhaps the most prized award is The Claret Jug. Also known as the Golf Champion Trophy, it replaced the Challenge Belt and has been awarded to the winner each year since 1873.