Golf is often thought as a classic, historically significant game. Many of the golf championships that we see today began to find their fame at the beginning of the 20th century, meaning that golf championships have enjoyed well over a hundred years of world-class professionals and international fame. Below is a definitive list of the best-golfing tournaments in the world, and their origins.
The Open Championship
The United Kingdom takes the prize for founding their historic championship first. This Scottish golf tournament made its 1860 debut in Prestwick in Ayrshire, Scotland. The first championship consisted of eight professionals, which meant that technically it wasn’t necessarily an ‘open.’ There was no prize money, but instead, just the chance to win the prize Belt.
British Amateur Championship
Thomas Owen Potter, the Secretary of Royal Liverpool Golf Club, put forward the idea of hosting a championship solely for amateur players. The event, which debuted in 1885 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in England, was open to members of recognised clubs. This new diversity was hoped to make golf more popular and lead to a higher quality of talent.
This third place entry is in fact a tie between the US Amateur, the US Women’s Amateur and the Canadian Amateur Championship. When the United States Golf Association formed in 1895, it founded these three tournaments as part of its championship line up. Aside from great wins, the US Open has seen historic feats such as sporting legend Billy Horschel hitting all eighteen holes in one round.
South African Open
The South African Open was first played for in 1893, but was only an exclusive set of exhibition matches between a very limited selection of professionals. Ten years later in 1903 the championship was contested over 36 holes in Port Elizabeth. The championship very recently underwent some changes. It will now be a tri-sanctioned championship between the Sunshine Tour, European Tour and Asian Tour. On top of this, it will still retain the international qualifying opportunities of the Johannesburg Open.
Canadian Open and Australian Open
Last, but obviously not least, it is a tie between the Canadian Open and the Australian Open. Both of these events date back to 1904. The Canadian Open underwent a bit of rebranding and is now referred to as the RBC Canadian Open on the PGA Tour. Similarly, The Australian Open is run by Golf Australia and is the nation’s biggest golf tournament.
Australia may have only just slid in at the final moment when it comes to starting an international championship, but they were certainly on-trend when it came to founding a national tournament in the early 1900s. These tournaments are responsible for showcasing the best talent the sport can offer. They have not only produced some internationally renowned names, but they also opened the pool out to players that weren’t just exclusive to a particular club. This diversity has shown to make golf the eye-catching game it is today – who knows who will emerge next from one of these championships?