The Claret Jug

The now famous Claret Jug, officially known as the Golf Champion Trophy, was paid for jointly between the Royal Ancient Golf Club, the Prestwick Club and the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers based at Musselburgh. Each of these clubs contributed £10 towards its cost. Young Tom Morris won the Championship Belt three times in succession from 1868 to 1870 and it became his property outright. There was no competition in 1871 as the Clubs rallied to find a new fitting trophy.

The 1872 Open at Prestwick, saw the Claret Jug being contested for the first time, well not quite! Incredibly Tom Morris Junior won the competition again and became the first winner. Unfortunately the decision to replace the belt with The Claret jug had been taken too late and the trophy could not be presented to him at the conclusion of play. Instead, he was awarded with a medal inscribed 'The Golf Champion Trophy'. His name would be engraved upon the Claret Jug before play began for the 1893 Open at St. Andrews.

The other significant change would see the competition be played not just at Prestwick but also St Andrews and Musselburgh. Musselburgh would hold its first Open on 10th April 1874.

In 1920 all responsibility for The Open Championship was handed over to The Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Following the 1927 Open, which was won at St Andrews by Bobby Jones, the club's Championship Committee took the decision to retain the Claret Jug in future years and to present the winner with a replica.

In 1990 a further replica was made for display in the new British Golf Museum at St Andrews and in 2000 a third was made for use in travelling exhibitions. A fourth followed in 2003 for the same purpose.