The Open Championship was last held in Northern Ireland in 1951 and the champion earned 300£ (or roughly $11,000 today). Max Faulkner surely cherished clutching the Claret Jug as he stood on the 18th green at Royal Portrush and the winner’s check was a welcome sight as well. However, when compared to the $1.8 million Jordan Spieth collected for winning last summer at Royal Birkdale, the paltry pay Faulkner received reflects the immense growth professional golf has enjoyed during the last 66 years.
Golfers have varying degrees of desire to attend and spectate professional golf events. Given the significant amount of effort and planning required to attend any of the Majors, I can certainly empathize with those who feel the process to be a bit overwhelming at times. I would, however, suggest that if you had just one Major to attend, it should be the Open Championship…for a variety of reasons;
The British Open
The British Open, or “The Open Championship” as it is referred to officially, is the oldest of all four major championships in professional golf – The Masters, The US Open, The Open, and The PGA Championship. The Open Championship was first played on October 17, 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. While the other three majors are played in the United States, The Open is played outside the U.S. as it is administered by the R&A – the governing body of golf outside the U.S. and Mexico.
Gary Sheppard, one of PerryGolf’s Golf Travel Specialists plays to a one handicap, but beyond that he has famous golf connections. His maternal grandfather is the highly respected caddie Willie Aitchison, who saw Lee Trevino home for back to back Open Championship victories in 1971 & 1972 at Royal Birkdale Golf Club and Muirfield respectively.