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8 Fascinating Facts About The Open Championship

How well do you know The Open Championship? We’ve pulled some of the most interesting facts we could find on the oldest major championship in professional golf. Test your knowledge and show us what you know about The Open!

Regardless of whether you refer to it as The Open Championship, The British Open, or simply The Open, you’ll find a lot of history when you look back on what is considered to be the oldest of the four major championships in professional golf.

In fact, this year’s event marks the 145th Open Championship since the tournament was first played at Prestwick Golf Club in 1860.
Our love for golf history led us to take a look at both The Open Championship and this year’s course—the Royal Troon Golf Club in South Ayrshire, Scotland—to bring you eight fascinating facts about The Open Championship.

Did you know?

1. The Royal Troon’s 8th Hole—a Par 3 named the “Postage Stamp”—is the shortest hole in this year’s tournament. The hole measures in at a meager 123 yards, but that doesn’t prevent it from being a serious obstacle for even the most skilled professional golfers.

2. The youngest man to win The Open Championship did so in 1868. Young Tom Morris was 17 when he walked away with his historic win. Of course, this sort of talent clearly runs in the family, as the oldest golfer to win The Open Championship was his father, Old Tom Morris, who won at age 46 in 1867.

OldAndYoungTomMorris                    Source: Wikimedia Commons

3. We’ve already covered the shortest hole at the Royal Troon Golf Club, but what about the longest hole? “Turnberry” is the 6th hole in this year’s championship. It’s a Par 5 that spans a daunting 601 yards. Let’s not forget, with the expected windy conditions this could either play as an easy birdie opportunity or a brutal slog.

4. The man with the most British Open wins is also the inventor of the “Vardon” (or overlapping) golf grip. His name: Harry Vardon. Vardon won The Open a whopping six times.

HarryVardonSource: Wikimedia Commons

5. Only one player in the 20th century won The Open Championship in three different decades. Gary Player emerged victorious in 1959, 1968, and once more in 1974.

6. Remember Young Tom Morris, the youngest player to win The Open Championship. He actually won four consecutive years in a row! In fact, before The Open had its current trophy—The Claret Jug—it had another prize: The Challenge Belt. Young Tom Morris won three times in a row and got to keep The Challenge Belt because of it, creating the need for a new trophy.

ChallengeBelt

Source: Wikimedia Commons

7. The first left-handed golfer to ever win The Open Championship was Bob Charles. He did it in 1963, over 100 years after the first tournament. The second left-handed golfer to win The Open was Phil Mickelson back in 2013.

BobCharlesSource: Alchetron

8. The Royal Troon Golf Club is not only the first golf club in the United Kingdom to have been granted Royal status under Queen Elizabeth II—it’s also the only golf course to have received such an honor.

RoyalTroonSource: The Times
So how did you do? Let us know in the comments. And if you have your own interesting trivia about The Open Championship, we’d love to hear that too.

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