Golf has been played competitively for centuries; according to The Guinness Book of Golf Facts and Feats the first international match was held in 1682 when the Duke of York and a shoemaker defeated two English noblemen at Leith. However, more than 170 years would pass before eight professional golfers assembled at Prestwick Golf Club in 1860 to determine who would become the Champion Golfer.
Prior to his death in 1859, Allan Robertson was the de facto champion golfer, but when Willie Park Senior beat Old Tom Morris by two shots to claim the Challenge Belt, little did those early golfers know how championship golf would change over the next hundred years.
The birth of The Open championship paved the way for the first club match between Oxford and Cambridge in 1875. Ten years later, the first Amateur championship was staged at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in 1885. In 1892 the first Indian and South African Amateur championships were played, then in 1893 the Ladies' Championship (now the Womens Amateur) and the New Zealand Amateur were both inaugurated.
The Open - golf's oldest championship
In 1895 the first U.S. Open and U.S. Amateur championships were played at Newport Country Club, Rhode Island. The same year the Canadian, Argentinean and U.S Women's Amateur championships started.
In 1902 the first amateur international match was staged between England and Scotland (now the Women’s Home Internationals). In 1903 the Oxford and Cambridge Golfing Society sailed to America to undertake the first overseas golf tour.
The Australian Open and Canadian Open started in 1904, as did the French Amateur championship, two years later the first French Open was staged.
Many dozens of championships – amateur and professional, male and female – are played each year in numerous countries. Our ultimate aim is to showcase as many championships as possible.
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