The Open Championships – Royal Birkdale 2017 – Corporate Packages and VIP Tickets
Since 1860, The Open Golf Tournament has been played over some of the world’s most prized links courses and has generated an astonishing legacy of world class champions.
It is the oldest and most international championship in professional golf and the Claret Jug – first presented in 1873 – is one of the most iconic trophies in all of sport.
From former greats such as Harry Vardon, Bobby Jones, Henry Cotton and Walter Hagen right through to recent golfing legends such as Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy, the best players in the world have taken on the relentless challenge of The Open Championship for over 150 years.
Fourteen courses have hosted the Open Championship great competition – Royal Troon, Royal Portrush, Royal Birkdale, Turnberry, Royal St George’s, Prestwick, Royal Lytham & St Annes, Muirfield, Prince’s, Carnoustie, St Andrews, Musselburgh, Royal Liverpool, and Royal Cinque Ports.
St Andrews and Royal Liverpool have in the past drawn the largest crowds in excess of 200,000 for the week.
There is a plethora of Open Championship hospitality – from burgers to posh nosh; from pints to fine wines. And numerous free activities in the spectator village, which at one recent Open featured a longest drive simulator as well as a 15-minute tutorial in the R&A swing zone.
Millions all over the world have shared memories of the extraordinary moments that unfold at The Open.
Four of the greatest-ever champions, Seve Ballesteros, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Tiger Woods, all produced tremendous displays of passion and unmatched skill to capture the imagination of golf fans everywhere.
Exhilarating, flamboyant, wild, impulsive – The Spaniard Seve Ballesteros ushered in a new era and made a whole new generation of supporters fall in love with the game.
He was runner-up at the age of 19 in 1976 and only three years later he was the youngest champion of the 20th century. In 1984 he birdied the 18th at St Andrews and celebrated his second Open victory joyously. At Lytham in 1988 he produced an astonishing closing round of 65, a win confirmed with a wonderful chip at the last green.
Jack Nicklaus played his greatest golf for longer than anyone – exact and conservative, hitting glorious long-iron shots and holing the putts that counted. His first Open victory came at Muirfield in 1966 and he won twice at St Andrews, in 1970 and 1978. Between 1963 and 1980, Nicklaus won three times, finished second seven times and third three, and other than finishing 12th once, was never worse than sixth. An unparalleled record.
Between 1975 and 1983, Tom Watson won five Open competitions in a nine year period, a better conversion than anyone previously.
He won on his debut in 1975, in a play-off over Jack Newton, and two years later pipped Nicklaus in the “Duel in the Sun” at Turnberry. Watson won his third Open at Muirfield in 1980, then again in 1982 at Royal Troon before securing his fifth title at Royal Birkdale a year later. In 2014, at the age of 64, he extended his record as the oldest competitor to play 72 holes at The Open.
With 14 Major Championships, Tiger Woods sits second only to Nicklaus’s 18 titles and indisputably inherited the Bear’s crown as the greatest player of his generation.
He won The Open championship three times and each has been special.
Woods took the Millennium Open at St Andrews in 2000 by eight strokes, just weeks after being victorious at the US Open at Pebble Beach by 15 shots. He went on to win the PGA Championship in a play-off and then the 2001 Masters to become the first player ever to hold all four Majors at the same time.
He returned to St Andrews in 2005 finishing five ahead of Colin Montgomerie and a year later he became the first player since Watson in 1983 to successfully retain the Claret Jug with a superb display of iron play on a baked, fast-running links as Hoylake hosted its first Open for 39 years.
Talking of the Claret Jug, or to use its proper name, the Golf Champion Trophy, it is not actually the original prize. When the Championship began the winner was presented with the Challenge Belt, made of rich Moroccan leather, embellished with a silver buckle and emblems.
It wasn’t until more than ten years later that the Claret Jug took over – decided on jointly by Prestwick, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club.
Made by Mackay Cunningham & Company of Edinburgh and hallmarked 1873, the first Open Champion to receive the new trophy was the winner of the 1873 tournament, Tom Kidd, but Tom Morris Junior’s name was the first to be engraved on it following victory in 1872.
There have been so many legendary names since.