Celebrate the anniversary of The Open with the 1st Prestwick Collection
History was made 156 years ago. On the 17th October 1860, the very first Open Championship was played at Prestwick on the Ayrshire coast of Scotland.
When Allan Robertson, regarded as the world’s finest golfer, died in 1859, a collection of leading figures of the game came together to determine his successor.
Eight professionals; Willie Park Snr, Old Tom Morris, Andrew Strath, Robert Andrew, George Brown, Charlie Hunter, Alexander Smith and William Steel, assembled at Prestwick Golf Club ready to take on three 12-hole rounds of links golf. The winner was to receive the Challenge Belt, a prize crafted from red Moroccan leather with silver embellishments. The Open was born.
Old Tom Morris, the greenkeeper at Prestwick, was the local favourite but Musselburgh’s Willie Park Snr, a strong hitter, led the field after the first round on 54. Morris sat three behind.
In the second round, Morris tried to make up ground on Park but was undone by his own course set-up all too often finding the bunkers which he had prepared and tended to himself. The leaders both scored 59.
Park hung onto his three-shot lead going into the final round. Morris managed to pull back a stroke but as Park came to the last hole, facing a 30-foot putt across a bobbly green, he had two putts for the win. He needed only one.
Willie Park Snr won the first Open Championship and his name was etched into the history of golf forever. A year later, Prestwick announced that the championship “shall be open to all the world.”
To celebrate the anniversary of Park’s famous victory, The Open proudly presents the 1st Prestwick Collection, a line of clothing and accessories inspired by this historic achievement within its official heritage merchandise range.
A unique selection of men’s and women’s clothing, including stylish polo shirts, knitwear and outerwear from Polo Ralph Lauren, a Patron and Official Outfitter of The Open, features in the collection. A variety of headwear, leather goods and golf accessories are also available.
Two short films featuring Mungo Park, the great grandson of Willie Park Snr, and Sheila Walker, the great-great granddaughter of Old Tom Morris tell the story of the first Open and highlight the legacy that both Willie Park Snr and Old Tom Morris created for The Open.
Wille Park Snr, the first Champion Golfer of the Year.
Tom Morris and the first tee shot at The Open