Willie Park, Sr.

In 1860, Willie Park, Sr. won the inaugural Open Championship at Prestwick. Born in Musselburgh, he was a rising star in golf by the age of 20 after starting out as a caddie and rising through the ranks.

The first Open field of eight included Park's rival Tom Morris, Sr. Although Morris was the crowd favorite, Park won the Championship by two strokes. There was no monetary reward, but the winner held the Challenge Belt for a year and after three consecutive wins, was allowed to keep it.

Willie Park, Jr.

Park (1833-1903) won the British Open four times (1860, 1863, 1866, and 1875) and his son Willie Park, Jr. (1864-1925) won twice in 1887 and 1889. Park’s brother Mungo won the Open in 1874.

Willie Park, Sr. and Jr. were the first father and son Open Champions.

Park Jr. was also the first professional golfer to publish a book on golf. The book entitled The Game of Golf (1896 Longmans, Green, and Co.) was intended to be a book of instruction. 

The spirit and passion for golf of this father and son lives on with the PNC Father/Son Challenge.


The life of a professional golfer has its advantages, but anyone with a family can tell you that endless travel and time away from loved ones will always weigh heavily on the mind.

There’s no substitute for hearing a child’s first words or seeing their first hole-in-one.

That’s why Father/Son Challenge was created; to allow the entire family to experience the joys of golf—together. 


The Willie Park Trophy

The Willie Park Trophy

The prize for the PNC Father/Son Challenge winning team is the Willie Park Trophy, named in honor of the first winner of the British Open, the world's oldest golf championship.

The Willie Park Trophy is based upon the original championship prize of the Open in 1860, a red leather belt with sterling silver embellishments similar to the belts awarded in modern times to boxing champions. Park (1833-1903) won the British Open four times (1860, 1863, 1866, and 1875) and his son, Willie Jr. (1864-1925), won twice (1887 and 1889). 

Willie Park Sr. wearing the original Open Championship trophy.

The belt was the senior Park's prize for his first three championships but for none of his son's victories. 

Starting in 1872, the belt was replaced by the silver claret jug, which British Open champions have received ever since.

The reason for the change in championship prizes was that the rule in those days was that anyone who won the belt for three years in succession would retain permanent possession.

The belt was retired as the championship prize by Tom Morris, Jr., who won in 1868, 1869 and 1870. Since there was no prize, the British Open was not held in 1871, but the championship was resumed in 1872 with the silver claret jug as the prize.

Garrard, The Crown Jewelers in England since 1843, created the Willie Park Trophy especially for the PNC Father/Son Challenge.

The first winners of the Willie Park Trophy in 1995 were Raymond Floyd and his son, Raymond, Jr., who shot rounds of 62 and 57 for a 119 total to win by six strokes over Hale Irwin and his son Steve. The Floyds shot 119 to win by six strokes over Hale Irwin and his son Steve in 1995 and shot 124 to win by two strokes over Dave Stockton and his son Ron in 1996.