Is it The Open, the Open Championship, or British Open? And why do we argue about it every year? Alex Perry and Steve Carroll implore you to put an end to it

‘Death, taxes, and the British Open debate’

I get why people – mainly Americans – call it the British Open, writes Alex Perry. They don’t want to confuse it with their own Open, which is just as well because theirs is called the US Open. Easy mistake to make, to be fair to them. (Where’s the sarcasm font on this thing?)

If we’re looking for positives in what was has been a horrific 18 months for so many of us, at least we had a year off having this most ridiculous discussion.

It generally begins with an American with loads of followers playing it cool by saying they never call it the British Open. Then everyone piles in. Even Phil Mickelson has got involved this time…

He’s right. But then, of course, Royal Portrush was added to the Open rota in 1951. Royal Portrush is in Portrush. Which is in Northern Ireland. Which is not in Great Britain.

The 2019 Open was a minefield for this very reason. People who say British Open really should respect that and call it the UK Open. (Seriously, where’s the sarcasm font on this thing?)

Or, you know, you could just start referring to it as The Open. That is what it’s called, after all.

And then we can all just get on with our lives.

‘What’s in a name?’

I’ve been writing ‘Open Championship’ for years only to look at my programme this morning and realise it’s now something slightly different, writes Steve Carroll.

This whole debate – ‘British vs Open’ – has become very boring, something that’s trotted out try and rile up the perpetually angry.

It works, too – I mean, you’re reading about it, aren’t you? – but, for me at least, this is a tournament defined far more by its prize than its moniker.

Did you know the Claret Jug is formally known as the Golf Champion Trophy? I don’t see anyone holding online polls demanding we only refer to it in its official guise.

I know some of you have had two years to dwell on this but just relax, enjoy the golf, and try not to get too excited about something as small as a prefix.

Where do you stand on the British Open debate? Let us know in the comments below, or you can tweet us.

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Alex Perry


Alex is a Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

Handicap: 14

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 23 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former captain and committee member, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the national Tournament Administrators and Referee's Seminar. He has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying and the PGA Fourball Championship. A member of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. Steve is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 3-Wood: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Hybrids: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Irons: TaylorMade Stealth 5-A Wedge Wedges: TaylorMade Hi-Toe 54 and 58 Putter: Sik Sho Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Handicap: 11.3

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