The British Open or The Open Championship is the oldest golf tournament in the world.
The tournament originally had been arranged following the death of Alan Robertson of St Andrews in 1859. Robertson was one of the first golf professionals to make a living from playing for bets, caddying, ball and club making and instruction, and was considered the best golfer at the time. In fact, he was so good that tradition has it he never lost when playing for money.
Following his death, the members of Prestwick Golf Club agreed a competition should be held to see who would follow Robertson as the Champion Golfer. In due course, the first Open Championship was held at Prestwick on October 17, 1860 and played according to the Rules of Prestwick Golf Club.
Eight professional players competed for the prize of a red Morocco leather belt with silver clasps and an ornamental silver buckle. The £25 girdle was paid for by the club’s members. Willie Park of Musselburgh recorded a score of 174 for 36 holes (three rounds of 12 holes) beating Old Tom Morris, representing Prestwick, by two strokes.