Commemorating The First Open Championship

Next week, the 145th Open Championship will be conducted at Royal Troon on Scotland’s west coast. Four miles away and 156 years ago, the very first Open Championship was played at Prestwick.

Unfortunately, the opening shot from that inaugural Open—struck by Old Tom Morris on October 17, 1860—wasn’t photographed, but it is now being recreated in a painting by noted golf artist Peter Munro. We haven’t seen it, nor do we know where it will hang, but we do know that the artist went to great lengths to get the details correct, even asking the government’s Hydrographic Office for the height of the tide at the appointed hour.

Meanwhile, the R&A has found another way to commemorate that first Open, introducing the 1st Prestwick Collection, which includes sweaters, jackets, polo shirts, and accessories such as ballmarkers and towels all bearing the special logo shown above. Which, we are pretty sure, Old Tom was not wearing on his tweed jacket when he took that historic swing with a long-nosed, wooden-headed “playclub” way back when.

Photo courtesy The New York Public Library