13 seriously cool facts about the Claret Jug

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1. Its real name isn’t the Claret Jug – it’s the Golf Champion Trophy.


 

2. And it wasn’t the original prize. That was the Challenge Belt, made of rich Moroccan leather and embellished with a silver buckle and emblems.


 

3. Three clubs – Prestwick, Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers and The Royal & Ancient Golf Club – paid £10 each for the silver Claret Jug in 1872 – 12 years after the first Open Championship.


Tom Watson

4. But it wasn’t until 1873 that the Claret Jug was first presented to a champion: Tom Kidd. However, 1872 winner Tom Morris Jr is the first name engraved on it.


5. In 1927, an agreement was put in place to retain the original Claret Jug and present future champions with a replica.


 

6. The Claret Jug was made by Edinburgh-based Mackay Cunningham & Company and is hallmarked 1873.


The Open Championship


7. Walter Hagen claimed two original Claret Jugs and two replicas after winning his third and fourth titles after 1927.


 

8. During the 50 years in which the original Claret Jug was used, 28 different players held it aloft, including Harry Vardon on a record six occasions.


 

9. The original Claret Jug has been on permanent display at the clubhouse of The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews since 1928.


Open Champion


10. Three other replicas exist – one in the British Golf Museum in St Andrews, while the two others are used for travelling exhibitions.


 

11. The Claret Jug has twice appeared on commemorative £5 Scottish banknotes issued by the Royal Bank of Scotland. First in 2004, for the 250th anniversary of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews.


 

12. And secondly, in 2005, the jug is shown held by Jack Nicklaus to mark the 18-time major winner’s retirement.


13. The trophy is returned each year for presentation to the new champion, but many winners privately commission copies of the ancient jug for their personal collections.


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