The Open remains the greatest tournament in golf
Ahead of the British Open - we take a look at what makes it one of the greatest sports competitions in the world
The British Open is the most famous event in golf, the seaside courses often accompanied by unpredictable weather also makes for one of the toughest and, in my opinion, greatest challenges in the sport.
Despite all the advances in technology the art of links golf still remains the same, while some of the courses are almost 1000 yards longer than they were over 100 years ago, the deep bunkers, long wispy rough and huge greens are characteristics you still only find at the Open championship.
In many cases too the course that the world's top golfers play during the Open are the same the average amateur plays week in, week out something that is certainly not the case at the American majors.
What also makes the Open great is the reliance on the elements to provide the challenge, wind and often rain are what stands this event out from other top tournaments and the natural landscape of the sloping sand dunes often lead to some shots that you only see played at the Open Championship.
While the Open is often the lowest scoring major of the year the fact the R&A, the organising committee in charge of setting up the Open layout is happy to provide a course where birdies and eagles can be made just as easily as bogeys and worse is another reason why this remains one of the purest events on the golf calendar.
Some may point out that is not always the case many remember the infamous 1999 Open at Carnoustie which was famously nicknamed 'Car-nasty' for the difficulty of the course but again that event was mainly affected by the elements with rain making for long thick rough and strong winds creating havoc.
While golf has moved forward over the years the event has never strayed away from it's roots, of course the money involved has increased hugely even during the last 20 years but the claret jug remains the prize all the golfers want to win.
But the fact the Open is played on a links course every year leads me to my final reason why it is the greatest event in golf, the event really is an open event, any golfer can in theory participate in the event. Also the leader-board is often one of the most competitive in the sport with the unique challenge rarely benefitting one type of golfer from another.
Of course maybe I am a little bias being British but the annual week in July when the sporting world focusses on an area of former farmland or sand dunes on the coastline of Britain is for me, four of the best days of the year.
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