Michael Trostel: The Trophy Of The US Open Of Golf

The U.S. Open has been a big part of the golf world since it was established in 1895. Every year, winners get the victory and this trophy.

  • The two-handled trophy is made of sterling silver.
  • It stands 18" high. The base is 6" high and 6" in diameter.
  • The trophy is surmounted by a Winged Victory figure.
  • The female figure is dressed in billowing Grecian style robes, with one arm lifted holding a laurel wreath. In the ancient Olympic Games, these were used to crown the champions of the athletic competitions.
  • On one side, centered on the trophy, are the words "United States Golf Association Open Championship".
  • Underneath is a rendering of a laurel wreath that frames a scene of early golfers.
There are four figures:
  • One golfer is shown setting up to strike his ball in the foreground
  • Behind him, another man and woman are both holding golf clubs, looking on.
  • Further behind them, another male figure is carrying a set of clubs in a golf bag.
  • This scene was engraved using a technique called "chasing" in which a hammer (or some other tool) is used to strike the carving tool, such as a chisel. This form of engraving allows the engraver to carve harder materials for longer periods of time without growing tired.
  • The reverse side contains the names of U.S. Open winners since the inaugural championship in 1895.
  • When there was no longer space on the trophy itself, a base was added to accommodate the names of additional champions.
  • The first champion listed on the base is Gary Player, winner of the 1965 U.S. Open.
  • The original trophy was donated by the USGA in 1895 and was produced by the Gorham Company.
  • The trophy was not presented in 1917 and 1918, nor was it presented from 1942 to 1945, as USGA Championships were not held during WWI and WWII.
  • Those years are still listed on the trophy but instead of champion names, "No Competitions World War" and "No Competitions World War II," are engraved.
  • The original trophy from 1895 was destroyed in a fire on September 21, 1946.
  • Lloyd Mangrum was in possession of the trophy when his home club, Tam O'Shanter in Chicago, burned down.
  • Fortunately, the exact specifications were still available, and an identical reproduction was secured from Spaulding & Company in 1947.
  • The trophy was finished and sent to St. Louis for the 1947 U.S. Open on June 5th, just one week before the championship began.
  • 1947 not only marked the first year of the new trophy, but the first time the U.S. Open was televised. A local television station, KSD-TV used a single camera placed on top of a station truck parked behind the 18th green.
  • Until 1986, the U.S. Open champion retained the original trophy for the year following their U.S. Open victory. Now, the champion retains a full-scale replica for the year and the original remains permanently at the USGA Museum in Far Hills, N.J.
  • Only champions and host clubs can request a replica of the trophy, which is not made at full scale.
  • Nicholas Winton, a silversmith based in Cheshire, England, produces USGA championship trophy replicas. He also produces the replicas of the British Open's Claret Jug.
  • There are four names on the trophy that appear four times:
  • Willie Anderson: The only golfer to win the championship three consecutive times (1901, 1903, 1904, 1905)
  • Robert T. Jones, Jr.: His final U.S. Open victory was in 1930 when he won the Grand Slam (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930)
  • Ben Hogan: Won his second U.S. Open just 14 months after a nearly fatal car accident (1948, 1950, 1951, 1953)
  • Jack Nicklaus: Won the championship over three different decades (1962, 1967, 1972, 1980)
  • Five amateurs have won the U.S. Open a total of eight times. These players are noted on the trophy with asterisks next to their names.
  • Francis Ouimet (1913)
  • Jerome D. Travers (1915)
  • Charles "Chick" Evans, Jr. (1916)
  • Bob Jones (1923, 1926, 1929, 1930)
  • John Goodman (1933),
  • There are 18 players who have won the championship multiple times.

Coverage of the US Open begins June 16th on FOX Sports 1 and FOX.

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