Thursday, July 16, 2009

Strapping Down the Past?

Young Tom Morris wore a red leather belt. Hell yes, he did. Like Sergio, Camilo or Poulter. His was even more badass. It was thick and emblazoned with silver emblems and matching buckle. (Top) Take that, AK!
In fact, the red Moroccan leather belt looked a lot more like it came from the WWE than the PGA. It was the first prize ever presented to the winner of the Open Championship - Willie Clark in 1860. Willie ain't never heard of no "House of Fleming" before, I can guarentee you that.

When Young Tom won three consecutive Opens from 1868-1870, the rule said you got to keep the "Challenge Belt," so he did. He took it home and hung that thing on his wall. Think your handmade gator belt is a piece of art? Well, Tom sure liked his.

The Claret Jug came around only because the circuit of esteemed clubs that held the Open needed a new prize to give out -- Young Tom had their belt. (We all know how pricey custom belts can run, jugs were on sale that week.)

So next time you think, even for a moment, that fashion doesn't play a role in the history of golf...think of Young Tom and the red belt. In fact, in honor of Open Championship week, treat yourself to a new strap - a crucial accessory of ancient golfing lore.

-KC (For J.D. and the D8)

1 comment:

TXQ said...

Jug or not, Tom was a juggernaut.