1860 — Prestwick
Twelve holes are played to determine Allan Robertson’s successor as Scotland’s best golfer. Willie Park wins the championship belt, local hero and course architect Old Tom Morris comes a mere second. The Open Championship is born.
1870 — Prestwick
Young Tom Morris wins for the third time in a row and gets to keep the belt. On his fourth success in 1872, he goes home without a trophy because the Claret Jug is not yet ready. The year before, the Open was even cancelled altogether for lack of a trophy.
1873 — St. Andrews
Tom Kidd wins the first Open at St. Andrews, held for the first time on an 18-hole course. The Scot is the first to hold the new trophy, but the first name on the base of the Claret Jug is that of the 1872 winner Tom Morris Jr.
1892 — Muirfield
The Open is played over 72 holes (four rounds) for the first time.
1902 — Royal Liverpool
Sandy Herd has the new Haskell ball wrapped around a core sent from the U.S. and beats the established “gutty” guard.
1904 — Royal St. Georges
The Open is held over three days for the next 62 years, with a 36-hole final at the end. J. H. Taylor plays the first round of 68 in golf history on 18 holes.
1909 — Royal Cinque Ports
Business arrives in the form of an exhibition area, with manufacturers and dealers advertising their golf products in tents.
1914 — Prestwick
The great Harry Vardon wins the Open for the sixth time at age 44, making him a record winner.
1922 — Royal St. Georges
Reporters race to nearby Sandwich to radio a sensation to the U.S.: at last, Walter Hagen, the first native-born American, has triumphed.
1924 — Royal Liverpool
Said Hagen, always up for a show, notices a public address by the Lord Mayor as he leaves his hotel in Liverpool. Uninvited, he climbs to the dignitary’s podium to wave to the crowd and be celebrated.
1926 — Royal Lytham & St Annes
For the first time, spectators must pay admission. Ticket-holders watch Bobby Jones’ success, which he sets up with a sensational mashie niblick (8-9 iron) from the fairway bunker over 155 yards of gorse and rough to the green in the final round at 17.
1927 — St. Andrews
Because there was money left over from the previous year, admission is free! Bobby Jones is carried on shoulders from the 18th green by the enthusiastic crowd after his second of three Open triumphs (1930, Grand Slam).
1935 — Muirfield
Coincidences abound: While tennis ace Fred Perry wins Wimbledon, Alf Perry (no relation, nor in-law) wins his only major golf tournament against Hagen and Co.
1950 — Royal Troon
The first German makes a name for himself: Hermann Tissies needs 15 strokes at the 115-yard famous “Postage Stamp” eight. In 1973, 71-year-old Gene Sarazen plays an ace on the par-3, and the next day the inventor of the sand wedge holes out of the bunker for birdie.
1951 — Royal Portrush
The only Open outside England and Scotland is broadcast by the BBC on the radio. Winner Max Faulkner with his penchant for colorful clothing may be considered a predecessor of Fowler, Daly and Co.
1953 — Carnoustie
America’s “Ice Man” Ben Hogan travels across the pond for his only Open Championship and promptly wins the third major title of the season in Carnoustie, thus achieving the “Triple Crown of Golf,” which is still unrivaled today. Only Tiger Woods has ever won three majors in a row, when he won the US Open, the British Open and the PGA Championship in 2000.
1955 — St. Andrews
In the second of his five victories, Australian Peter Thomson is shown live on television.
1966 — Muirfield
The Open is now held Wednesday through Saturday. Jack Nicklaus makes it a career Grand Slam with his first victory, something only Gene Sarazen (1935), Ben Hogan (1953), Gary Player (1965) and Tiger Woods (2000) have achieved besides him.
1969 — Royal Lytham & St Annes
After 17 victories by overseas golfers, Englishman Tony Jacklin restores British Open honors as “Champion Golfer of the Year.”
restores British Open honor.
1975 — Carnoustie
Tom Watson wins the first of his five British Opens in a playoff. In 1977, he engages in the legendary “Duel in the Sun” with Nicklaus at Turnberry. Watson plays the weekend in 65-65, Nicklaus in 65-66.
1978 — St. Andrews
Jack Nicklaus wins his third Open Championship and at the same time completes the career Grand Slam, winning all four majors, for the third time.
1980 — Muirfield
The British Open will now be held from Thursday through Sunday. Seven years after that, at the same location, Nick Faldo is immortalized for 18 pars in the final round on the Claret Jug. Sir Nick also keeps the engraver busy in 1990 and ’92.
1995 — St. Andrews
While John Daly drives the ball onto the green with a terrific shot from the Road Hole bunker on the final round, laying the foundation for his victory, the dreaded sand pit on the 17th green finally brings playoff defeat to his opponent in the playoff, Costantino Rocca. The Italian needs three strokes to break free, but has already written golf history with his 18-meter putt on the 18th green and the subsequent “jubilant ecstasy”.
1999 — Carnoustie
Jean van de Velde makes THE black-out in Open history: Around the Barry Burn on the 18th hole, the Frenchman “gambles away” a three-stroke lead and loses in a play-off against Paul Lawrie. The R&A engraver had already stamped Van de Velde’s name on the Claret Jug.
2000 — St. Andrews
With consistent iron play and without once lying in one of the 112 bunkers, Tiger Woods sets a new scoring record at the Millennium Open (-19) and at the same time makes his career Grand Slam perfect.
2009 — Turnberry
At the scene of the “Duel in the Sun” of 1977, 59-year-old Tom Watson could once again equal Harry Vardon and loses the sixth Open only in a play-off against Stewart Cink.
2010 — St. Andrews
At the 150th anniversary of the Open Championship, the winner is Louis Oosthuizen (South Africa). Rory McIlroy shoots an opening 63 in ideal conditions, prompting the R&A grandees to frantically consider structural changes to make the Old Course more difficult for 2015.