The History of Claret Jug Trophy

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The History of Claret Jug Trophy

Everything You Need To Know About One Of Golf’s Most Prestigious Trophies 

Want to know more about golf’s oldest and most precious prize? Keep reading… 

The Claret Jug is one of the most sought after prizes in the world of golf. Every year, it is awarded to the winner of The Open (also known as The British Open). Which is one of the four yearly golfing majors. 

The Claret Jug was first awarded in 1872 to Young Tom Morris who won The Open for the fourth year in a row that year. Every year, the winner’s name is engraved onto the trophy just before they are presented with it. 

Today, we are going to learn more about this trophy and its winners. 

History Of The Claret Jug 

The Claret Jug was introduced to replace the Challenge Belt which was given to Young Tom Morris after he won the competition three years in a row. 

Every year it is given to the winner of The Open Championship. 

The first Claret Jug was from 1872 to 1927. This jug was given to the Morris family, who donated it to Saint Andrew’s golf club – and it is still on display there. 

The new jug was made and first awarded in 1928. This is the cup that is still awarded to the winners nearly 100 years late. 

The Claret Jug has featured on Scottish banknotes twice. Once to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews. And once to honor the retirement of golfing legend Jack Nicklaus. 

First Winner 

The first winner of the Claret Jug in 1982 was Young Tom Morris, the son of Old Tom Morris -who is often referred to as the Grandfather of Golf. Of the 10 years that the Challenge belt was awarded, the father and son won it 7 times. 

Morris won four consecutive Open Championships (an unmatched record), all before the age of 21 (an unmatched record). He won his first PGA title at 17 (also an unmatched record). 

Young Tom Morris passed away at the age of 24 on Christmas Day, a few weeks after the death of his wife and child. 

First Winner, New Cup 

When the new Claret Jug was made, the first person to win it was Walter Hagan. Hangan was an American and he was the first player from the states to win the title. 

He went on to win it another three times before retiring. Walter was one of the best golf players in the first half of the twentieth century. He won 45 PGA titles in an era where travel was long and arduous. 

He was also a Ryder Cup captain 6 times. He won 11 Majors throughout his career. He most notably won the PGA Championship 5 times – 4 of those times were consecutive. 

Most Recent Winner 

Last year the competition was held at Royal St George’s and was won by Collin Morikawa. 

Collin Morikawa shocked everyone by winning the 2020 PGA Championship and the 2021 Open Championship on his debut at both competitions. Morikawa only turned pro in 2018 and has already won two of the four masters. 

At the end of 2021, Morikawa became the first American to win the Race For Dubai. 

Morikawa is currently in the bookies’ top 5 to win this year. The last player to win this tournament twice in a row was Tiger Woods in 2005 and 2006. 

And you can find golf betting odds on this year’s winner here. 

The Engraving Process 

The Claret Jug has the winner’s name engraved on it on-site. This is a tradition of British sport. 

The engraver sits on the side of the green and when the winner is determined (not ever before), they will start carving. 

This is usually documented by BBC Sport. 

The Open Championship  

Now, let’s learn a little more about the Open Championship itself. 


Here is a list of all the locations that have hosted the Open Championship and how many times they have done it. 

The competition is never held in the same place two years in a row 

  • Scotland 
    • Prestwick 24
    • St Andrews 29
    • Musselburgh 6
    • Muirfield 16
    • Royal Troon 9
    • Carnoustie 8
    • Turnberry        4 
    • Prestwick 24
    • St Andrews 29
    • Musselburgh 6
    • Muirfield 16
  • England 
    • Royal Troon 9
    • Carnoustie 8
    • Turnberry 4
    • Royal St George’s 15
    • Royal Liverpool 12
    • Royal Cinque Ports 2
    • Royal Lytham & St Annes 11
    • Prince’s 1
    • Royal Birkdale             10
  • Northern Ireland 
    • Royal Portrush

Wales, the other nation in the UK has never hosted the Open Championship. 

Most Prolific Open Championship Winner 

The English player, Harry Vardon, holds the record for most Open Championship wins. He won the competition 6 different times – 1896, 1898, 1899, 1903, 1911, 1914. 

He also won the U.S Open – for 7 major wins in his career. 

By country, the USA has won the tournament the most time. They have won it 45 times with 30 unique winners. Scotland is second with 41 wins from 22 champions. 

The most recent player to win multiple times was  Ernie Els of South Africa who won in 2012 and 2002.


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