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Golf Australia Express : Issue 45—The British Open
THERE IS A VAST array of trophy designs, shapes and sizes in golf, and on the whole they convey gravitas and prestige. Through their shape and size and through the body of associated stories that have gathered like dust over the decades, these trophies are physical representations of the very traditions that make each major what it is. The Open Championship is the oldest tournament on Tour and its trophy is a clear illustration of the point at hand. It might not be the original trophy (there was a red belt for the first 10 years, then the first claret jug which lasted 54 years), but it carries such weight as to become a question that taxes the sleep of celebrating winners as they consider whether they dare drink from it or not. (Others must have laughed at such quaint superstition as they loaded it up with BBQ sauce.) In the end, each major tournament has its distinction. The Masters lays claim to the same course, year after year and wears its pride on a coat sleeve. The US Open is big, but the Wanamaker is bigger---and if you've ever hit a long drive way into the trees, you would surely agree that big is not necessarily better. The claret jug doesn't try to be the biggest trophy in golf. But in many ways it is. As a piece of silverware, it is recognised across the sporting world. That its original sits at the very home of golf gives this tournament a sense of authenticity that is impossible to MAJOR TROPHIES REVEAL MORE THAN SIMPLY NAMES OF PAST WINNERS, WRITES WILL HONE. AN ICON OF THE AGES with Will Hone IN HONING manufacture. You can't make heritage, and it takes a long time to grow. The claret jug speaks of an age gone past when trophies were more prosaic--- cups and urns have been around for more than 300 years as prizes for sporting victories. The tournament is a door that opens upon golf's long history, and the claret jug is the key. Though times may have changed, the weathering gusts of fashion and trend have not smoothed the surfaces of these monuments to the game's past. There are four majors on Tour, and each of them is celebrated through a magnificent display of silverware and heritage. But none of them come within a Tiger's drive of the claret jug for their direct links to the ancient game's beating heart. OTG The claret jug doesn’t try to be the biggest trophy in golf. But in many ways it is. As a piece of silverware, it is recognised across the sporting world. DO YOU AGREE? TELL US YOUR THOUGHTS