The sad truth will, no doubt, have hit you by now. You will never win an Open Championship. You will never get your clammy mitts on the Claret Jug and hoist it high into the air as all around you rise to acclaim your proven and undoubted golfing excellence.
Sorry to break that to you [and if you’re a rising star of the game reading this, we’re not talking to you here].
No, the sad reality of it is that your best hope of getting your hands on the most iconic trophy in golf is to buy it – and there’s more bad news on that front, too. Because the Claret Jug you see here has just sold – and for less than you might imagine, although with good reason.
Greg Norman’s 1986 Claret Jug sold at auction for ‘just’ $88,809.60. Admittedly, it’s only a replica of the trophy Norman won by five strokes at Turnberry – the real Claret Jug passes between the winners, who are also given one 14 5/8” tall replica for their mantelpiece. It’s thought that this replica had left Norman at some point previously and was in the hands of a collector when it sold. Even so, the trophy remained highly coveted among collectors.
“The sterling silver bands on this Claret Jug are engraved up to, and including, Greg Norman’s victory at the ’86 Open at Turnberry,” noted Golden Age Golf Auctions, through whom the trophy sold.
“Simply put, if you could own a Claret Jug from any year from 1979 to 1999, it would be 1986 – such is the power of the Greg Norman name in the world of golf, as well as the dearth of quality Greg Norman memorabilia in the collecting marketplace.”
That may well be the case, yet Norman’s iconic trophy lags some way behind previous benchmark Claret Jugs sold at auction.
Mark Calcavecchia’s 1989 trophy changed hands for a very healthy $95,525, but that was a long way short of the most coveted of all so far – Sam Snead’s 1946 trophy which went for $262,900 in 2013.
Even so, someone somewhere is now hoisting the Claret Jug into the air and playing the Champion – hopefully in a preposterous yellow wig for maximum effect.