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History of The Open

Erik Anders Lang


A Brief History of The Open

A Brief History of The Open by Erik Anders Lang

As the host and director of the Adventures in Golf series, film-maker and golfer Erik Anders Lang is accustomed to exploring some of the sport's most intriguing stories.

So who better to take on the challenging yet fascinating task of distilling the illustrious 160-year history of The Open into a 17-minute journey of discovery?

A Brief History of The Open, which is exclusively available for members of The One Club to view via, sees Lang provide fresh insight into the many and varied tales of golf's original Championship, from its humble beginnings in Prestwick to the wide-reaching modern-day event that is broadcast all over the world.

Among the standout moments of a film packed with memorable footage from the archives is an interview with Tom Watson, who recalls the closing stages of the famous Duel in The Sun in The 106th Open Championship at Turnberry, where he famously pipped Jack Nicklaus to glory in a thrilling Sunday shootout, and also suggests Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson provided an even better finale at Royal Troon 39 years later.
Watson is, of course, synonymous with The Open as a five-time Champion Golfer of the Year. However, the film also explores the perhaps lesser-known story of Allan Robertson, who can be considered the event's unsung hero.

Robertson - the first man to break 80 at St Andrews - was the leading player of his era, known as the 'Champion Golfer of Scotland'.

As Ken Goodwin, the secretary at Prestwick, explains, "When he died in 1859, the big question was 'who is the Champion Golfer now?' The members here thought, after our Autumn Meeting we'll have a match. And that's how The Open came about, to find out who was the new champion."
Erik Anders Lang at the British Golf Museum at St Andrews
A Brief History of The Open charts the countless developments that have since taken place, in both the Championship and the wider world, following the first edition of golf’s original major in 1860.

"The golf world looks nothing like it did back when the Challenge Belt was being handed off at Prestwick," says Lang. "[But] when it comes to The Open Championship, one thing remains the same, year after year.

"We all gather together as fans to celebrate the Champion Golfer of the Year. The Open is undoubtedly golf's greatest story."
“The Open is undoubtedly golf's greatest story.” erik anders lang
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