June 12, 2017, kicks off the U.S. Open Championship, the second-oldest golf tournament in the world. The location changes annually and this year, Erin Hills Golf Course in Erin, Wisconsin will host the 117th U.S. Open, where golfers from around the world will compete for the most desired trophy the sport has to offer.
While many who are familiar with golf probably know everything there is to know about the U.S. Open Championship Trophy, here are a few fun facts for those not already know.
What is the U.S. Open trophy made of and what does it look like?
The U.S. Open Championship Trophy is constructed of pure sterling silver. Weighing in at 8.5lbs of silver, the trophy stands 18” tall and 6” in diameter.
A winged female representing Victory tops the lid of the silver jug and just below rest the two handles. Engraved along one side are the words “United States Golf Association Open Championship,” as well as a laurel wreath surrounding four golfers. The base proudly boasts the names of each winner, which are engraved in block type.
What's in a name?
Unlike other sports with their Stanley Trophy or the Larry O’Brien Trophy, the U.S. Open Championship Trophy is simply called as such. The name has never changed, and from what we can tell, there are no plans to nickname the century-old silver jug.
How old is the current U.S. Open trophy?
Though the U.S. Open has been awarding the trophy since 1895, the trophy we know today dates back to 1947, when it replaced the original created by the Gorham Company. The current trophy turns 70 years young this season!
Where is the original?
Sadly, the original U.S. Open Championship Trophy perished in a clubhouse fire in Chicago during 1946. The winner of the 1946 U.S. Open, Lloyd Mangrum, proudly displayed the silver jug at his home course clubhouse, Tam O’Shanter. When the Tam O’Shanter caught fire, the original U.S. Open Trophy was still inside the clubhouse and was ultimately destroyed along with the structure.
Do the winners still get to take home the U.S. Open Trophy?
The winner of the U.S. Open Championship is still allowed to take home the coveted trophy and proudly display the silver cup for one year. Upon the anniversary of their win, the champ then returns the trophy to the USGA so it may be awarded to the next year's winner. The only exception to this is if the defending champion wins for two consecutive years.
Beyond getting to take the trophy home for one year, winners of the U.S. Open are additionally awarded a gold medal, the Jack Nicklaus Medal, which is theirs to keep indefinitely. If desired, winners are also welcomed to purchase a replica of the trophy through the USGA silversmith.
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