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Let’s settle this: Is it the British Open or The Open?

It is July and we’ve all congregated at a world-class links course in the United Kingdom. This can only mean that everyone’s favourite Open debate will rear its head once again…

 

It’s that time of the year when golf fans become enraged by someone calling The Open, the British Open!

Collin Morikawa said he was “given hate” for calling the famous old tournament this name when winning his second major title at Royal St. George’s in 2021.

But is this issue blown out of proportion? Or are some golf fans right to shoot the American star down? Two members of the NCG team banged their heads together and debated a topic that is as old as the event itself.

How can you argue anything other than The Open Championship?

It’s The Open Championship. Simple as that. No other words are needed, according to Matt Coles.

It is the oldest golf tournament in the world. It is The Open.

It all started in 1860, and as the game’s most ancient and sought-after major, it had free reign over its name. As the only tournament on the planet at the time of inception, the name ‘Open Championship’ was selected.

Due to the nature of the tournament, one in which professionals and amateurs can participate, it literally is open. There is qualifying through various different avenues each year to make it into ‘The Open’ with amateurs always featuring, and the best of all winning silverware at the end of the week.

It might be that our friends from outside the UK mostly call it the British Open, perhaps to differentiate between the Open Championship and the US Open.

For us snobs, the tournament will always be known as The Open Championship, as the original open, and the event that got the ball rolling.

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It’s not that important – what difference does a name make?

I understand ‘The Open’ owns this name through a strong sense of pride and entitlement. If I could choose one major trophy to win, it would be the Claret Jug without question, writes Matt Chivers.

But do we really need to cringe and shake our heads every time someone calls it the British Open? After all, it does help to distinguish between other prestigious tournaments when in passing conversation.

To me, it comes across as something UK golf fans love to be outraged at. ‘It is The Open, not the British Open’ is what most people find themselves muttering under their breath every time ‘the words that must not be said’ are spoken.

I would also argue it can portray quite a stuffy image of golf fans who insist on just the two-word name of the tournament. It is the premier event in the sport – I will argue that to the hills – but is what we call this great stage a massive issue?

I don’t think it is, and I find the constant correction and huffing and puffing over this topic a slightly tedious feature of such a great championship.

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Whose side are you on? Let us know on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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