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The Claret Jug Pays A Visit To Walt Disney World® Golf

On January 16, 2016, golf’s most famous trophy, the Claret Jug, paid a visit to Walt Disney World® Golf, operated by Arnold Palmer Golf Management.

Mike Bender, golf coach for Zach Johnson, the 2015 Open Champion, visited Walt Disney World® Golf after a North Florida PGA meeting earlier in the week, to spend time with our staff and share the Claret Jug with us. Zach was playing in Hawaii, at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open and left the Claret Jug with Mike to share with members at the recent NFPGA meeting.

Our staff had the opportunity to take some photos of the Claret Jug and share stories about its history.

The Claret Jug, more formally known as the “Golf Champion Trophy”, has been presented each year to the winner of The Open, since 1873. Prior to 1873, dating to the first Open in 1860, a Challenge Belt, made of Moroccan leather, with a silver buckle and emblems was awarded to the Open Champion.

There are currently five official Claret Jugs, the original and four primary replicas:

  • The original, from 1873, permanently resides in the Royal and Ancient Golf Club clubhouse at St. Andrews in Scotland.
  • Since 1928, when Walter Hagen became the Open Champion for the third time, the same replica is presented to the Open Champion at a ceremony following their win and is retained by the Open Champion for the following year. This replica is then returned in time for the next Open Championship. The Open Champion then receives a personal replica to retain permanently.
  • A replica is housed in the British Golf Museum at St. Andrews in Scotland.
  • Two additional replicas are used for traveling exhibits around the world.

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Keen eyes will note, when reviewing the close up images of the Claret Jug included here, that there is a well-known typo on the trophy, the result of an error by the engraver in 1947, when Fred Daly captured the Trophy at Hoylake. The engraver accidentally etched Holylake. That this error is present in the Claret Jug that visited with us, is an indication that this particular replica of the Trophy is the same one given to the Open Champion each year since 1928 and so has been held by the most famous hands in all of golf.

The Open Champion may also personally commission a limited number of additional replicas of the Claret Jug to retain. These are about 75% of the full size Trophy and are typically used by the Open Champion as gifts to those closest to them.

We are honored to have hosted the Claret Jug for the day and to experience this revered icon of golf’s international history!

Our sincere thanks to Mike Bender and Zach Johnson for their courtesy from all of us at the “Happiest Place on TURF!”