This year, the 150th Open Championship brings 156 of golf’s best to the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, to compete for the Claret Jug. Fans have travelled from all over the world to watch this historic event whilst many more will be tuned in on television. Meanwhile, this week and every week, visitors to the A1 Golf Range are able to play this course in ‘virtual course mode’ on our Toptracer system.
The British Open golf competition, generally known as The Open Championship, is the final of the four major men’s golf championships held each July in the United Kingdom, usually in England or Scotland. It is the only one of the golf majors to be held outside of the United States, following the US Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, and US Open earlier this year. The Open Championship is also the oldest professional golf competition, with a rich history and tradition that includes being contested on a links-style course. The British Open is generally held near the shore, with plenty of flat ground and breezy conditions that impact the course conditions.
The History of the Open Championship
The first Open Championship was held on October 17th, 1860, at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. Eight pros played three rounds in one day at Prestwick’s 12-hole course. Willie Park, Sr., won the first event and was awarded the Challenge Belt, a silver-buckled leather belt that each champion had to preserve until the following Open. In 1870, Tom Morris, Jr. won the Open for the third time in a row, earning him the right to keep the Challenge Belt indefinitely. However, the Open was not held again until 1872, when it was decided that the winning golfer would receive the Golf Champion Trophy, more generally known as the Claret Jug, because there was no award to offer to the winner.
The mid-century popularity of golf produced a slew of notable Open champions, including England’s Sir Henry Cotton, South Africa’s Bobby Locke, Australia’s Peter W. Thomson, and the United States Arnold Palmer. Jack Nicklaus is another prominent Open winner, having won in 1966, 1970, and 1978. In addition, Harry Vardon won the Open six times, the most of any player.
The 2022 Open Field
Tiger Woods heads the field at St Andrews for the 150th Open Championship. The 15-time Major winner missed the US Open after making his comeback at the Masters due to a horrible car accident last year, but he is set to tee it up in the home of golf, where he has won two of his three Opens. The field includes reigning champion Collin Morikawa, Masters champion and World No.1 Scottie Scheffler, PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas, and US Open winner Matt Fitzpatrick. Phil Mickelson, Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, and Bryson DeChambeau, who no longer play on the PGA Tour, are also expected to compete in the Open.
Playing at St Andrew’s is like going to Wembley or playing on Centre Court at Wimbledon – but unlike those experiences, it is attainable by any golfer with the desire and funds. If you do get the chance, when you get there, allow plenty of time before the round to soak in the ambience and hit a few putts on the Himalayas, the nearby putting green club with the most beautiful humps and hollows.
The course is open and level. As has been extensively established numerous times, hitting left will serve you well and keep you out of most of the danger. However, the greens are massive! Therefore, players must ensure their putting game is on point, so get plenty of practice beforehand.
Sharpen your game at A1 Golf Range
The A1 Golf Range provides a multi-shot experience with 11 target greens, allowing golfers to practise every stroke in their arsenal, from a 50-yard pitch to a 300-yard drive. The driving range in Hertfordshire contains 40 undercover bays, a big custom fitting bay, a covered space for the private golf academy, and 10 outdoor bays. We have 22 dual strike mats with manual tees for left and right handed golfers, while all other bays have the most recent computerised Power Tees. Golfers may practise from the same position using Power Tees, eliminating the need to bend down and reload balls onto tees. They may be adjusted at your desired height, ensuring excellent practise conditions for A1 members.
Most importantly, all bays on our driving range are equipped with Toptracer – the ultimate practice tool for an engaging and data-driven experience that appeals to everyone. So for local golf lovers around North London, who are keen to experience the buzz of the Open Championship this week without travelling the length of the country, they can play the St Andrews course on virtual course mode at the A1 Golf Range.