BRITISH OPEN GOLF

The game of golf, as we know it now, could be a descendent of the game played by the Romans who called it Paganica (played with a rounded stick to strike a rubber ball) or from the ancient Chinese game of Chuiwan, where chui means striking and wan means ball – striking the ball. This game was played in China between the 8th and 14th Century and the game was introduced in Europe in the middle ages. Other records have also been found a similar type of game played in different regions in different eras, but the official belief is that it originated in Scotland, where shepherds knocked stones into rabbit holes in the 12th century. The game has been played since in many countries of the world, specifically in Britain. The most important is the British Open, which is watched avidly from all around the world.

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Playing the Game:

A Golf course is where the game is played and it consists of a number of holes with the teeing area. The teeing area is marked to show the legal area where a player can tee. The putting area is marked off by a cup and flagsticks. Several hazards and difficulties are built in the course to stop the game from becoming too easy. The game is played in rounds, with every round based on several holes in a given order. One round could be of 18 holes, but if the course has only nine holes then it could be two consecutive 9 hole rounds. The game starts off with the golfer striking the ball from the tee, which is usually a long one depending on where the holes are, this shot is known as the drive. The golfer than strikes the ball continuously using different strikes, lay-up approach pitch or chip until the ball reaches the green, and then he attempts to strike the ball into the hole called a putt. Penalties are also common in this game especially if a player takes extra swings, or hitting the ball into unplayable area etc. the main tool used in golf is the club, with a long shaft and a club head on the bottom. A maximum of 14 clubs are allowed in a game, with different clubs for different distances and a putter, which is used to roll the ball into the hole. The ball is a sphere, with little dotted dimples as they are known; white is used typically although other colors are also allowed. A tee is allowed only for the first stroke in every round, after which the ball has to be hit from the ground.

Golf has exceeded expectations in its popularity, being played all over the world with different tours, the European tour, Japan golf tour, Asia tour, PGA tour of Australia and the sunshine tour. According to the Golfers digest the countries that have the best endowment of golf are Scotland, New Zealand, Australia, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Canada, Wales, United States and England. The major championships are the PGA championships, the Masters, the US open, and the British Open Championships.

British Open Championship:

This is one of the four golf majors and the oldest starting from 1860s. It is the only major that takes place outside of USA, and is third to played each year, before the PGA championship. It takes place on the weekend of Third Friday every July, on one of the historic nine links in Scotland and England, only once played in Ireland. The first Open was played in 1860 in Scotland.

At first there was no prize money awarded to the players, just a red belt with a silver buckle. Gradually price money started being awarded, just 6 pounds or so initially, but in 2004 the price money was 720 000 pounds. The early winners were all Scottish players. After 1922 foreign players managed to win the tournament starting with the Americans.

The rounds of holes has also increased over time, first it was 36 which increased to 72 in 1892, the same year that the price money was allotted to 100 pounds. The title has almost always been won by professionals, only six amateurs between 1890 and 1930. There have been many champions from England and Scotland, but only one from Ireland, in 1947. The eleven championships from 1948 to 1958 were won by South African and Australian golfers, Bobby Locke from SA and Peter Thompson from Australia winning nine of the eleven titles.

The 1960s began the big three eras in professional golf, Gary Player, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus being the three, and Palmer was the first American to have won the title which was publicized and seen on television, after this American participation became regular rather than optional. The Americans did not manage to win for 11 years after 1983, except one title, the rest going mainly to the commonwealth countries and one to Scotland after a drought of 50 years.

Another American dominant era began in 1995 with John Daly winning the playoff. Since then, Tiger Woods has become a household name, managed to win three championships in 2000, 2005 and 2006. Europe once again managed to get the cup in 2007, with the second Irish winning the title, Harrington also managed to win the 2008 title.

Since 1995, the Open has been officially declared as part of the PGA tours event and all wins in this event have been classified as PGA wins. The British Open is usually played in England, North West England and Scotland. It has never been played in Wales though. Golf is known to be one of the most popular and well liked sports, generating spectator and betting interest from around the world. You can place all your golfing wagers online. It is extremely convenient and provides a streamlined betting experience. Bet on your favourite golf players or tournaments from the comfort of your home or office. What could be easier?