Monday, September 10, 2012

The History Of Claret Jug Trophies

The Claret Jug is a coveted trophy presented to the champion winner of the Open Championship. Besides referred to as the Golf Champion Trophy, this trophy is one of the most befitting and important trophies in the UK. In the US, this Open Championship is avowed as the British Open. Claret Jug trophies are regarded as the pinnacle of go for a golfer.

The dark rosy wine claret color is much referred to as being elite. The history of Claret Jug Trophies dates back to 1872. This legendary trophy is awarded every year to the winner of the Open golf tournament. The original trophy is retained and a replica is handed over to the winner with his name engraved. When we talk of Claret Jug trophies, their history and origin, the story is incomplete without the mention of the young and talented golf icon Tom Morris. He was often referred to as Young Tom Morris as his father, Sr. Tom Morris or Old Tom Morris, played as a partner.

With junior Tom Morris winning the Championship Belt 3 times consecutively there was the need of a new trophy to honor this world champion for his win. The Challenge Belt was made of rich Moroccan leather festooned with emblems and ornate silver buckles making it a priceless win. The belt was given away to the winner only on 3 wins in succession.

When Tom Morris Jr. won 3 times in a row, he became the owner of this special belt. On his next win in 1872 the three clubs, namely the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, Prestwick, and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, contributed 10 pounds for a new trophy instead of another belt. This new trophy was named The Golf Champion Trophy. When Young Tom Morris went on the next year to win the championship once again for the 4th time, the trophy was not yet ready to be handed over to him, and so he was given a medal instead. Though his was the first name to be engraved on the trophy, the first Claret Jug Trophy was first awarded to Tom Kidd, the 1873 winner. This trophy was made by Mackay Cunningham and Company of Edinburgh with 1873 embossed on it.

The revered Claret Jug Trophy appeared twice as a memorial on 5 pound Scottish banknotes which were issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland. The first was in the year 2004 when the illustrious Royal and Ancient Golf Club of Scotland celebrated its 250th anniversary and the second time was in 2005, with Jack Nicklaus, the " golden bear " of American golf holding the Jug as a symbol to seal his retirement.

Since 1928, the original Claret Jug Trophy has been displayed at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews, Scotland.