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Sports Licensing: Opus and The R&A Collaborate On New Book To Celebrate The 150th Open

Opus and The R&A today announced the planned publication and pre-order release of The Open Opus, which will celebrate the 150th playing of The Open and documents the history of the world’s oldest and most prestigious championship.

The partnership was brokered by TSBA, licensing agent for The R&A, which stands for ‘The Royal & Ancient’; a reference to ‘The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews’. The R&A is an organization dedicated to the promotion of golf, and among other things it is the organizer of The Open golf tournament. While the two organizations work together, The R&A is a separate and distinct organization from St. Andrews Golf Club.

The Open Opus has been created in collaboration with The R&A to create a body of work befitting The Open’s rich heritage, including many of the sport’s greatest golfers who have lifted the iconic Claret Jug after conquering the challenge of the world’s finest links courses. 

The Open Opus will chronicle the evolution of the Championship from its very first playing at Prestwick in 1860 to the present day, culminating in its 150th playing at St Andrews next year. The Open Opus will include 150 of the ‘Greatest’ moments from The Open carefully selected for inclusion into this important edition. 

“The Open and its rich history is a story that Opus is not only immensely proud but very honoured to have the opportunity to tell,” said Opus CEO Karl Fowler. “It is an exciting project that has been a long time in the making, and could only have been made possible with the passionate collaboration of The R&A. To be able to tell this story in such large luxurious format, showing photographs and treasures from the 150 Greatest moments from the world’s most prestigious golf championship will hopefully make The Open Opus rather special. We look forward to making more announcements on this unique Opus project over the coming months as we lead up to The 150th Open next summer at St Andrews.”

Neil Armit, Chief Commercial Officer at The R&A, says the book will contain a rich history of the world’s oldest golf tournament. He pointed to the moment when the ’People’s Champion’, the late, great Seve Ballesteros, resplendent in his navy blue sweater, sank a 15-foot putt to win The Open at St Andrews in 1984. His response was to punch the air and jig on the spot with joy.

Or in 1953, when Ben Hogan tamed the famous championship course at Carnoustie to win The Open in what was his only appearance in the Championship and came four years after a near-fatal car crash. The American golfer ended the Championship with a four under par course record of 68 to win his ninth and final major. The sixth hole was renamed ‘Hogan’s Alley’ in his honor in 2003. 

‘The Duel in the Sun’ at Turnberry in 1977 is also considered by many to be the finest contest in the Championship’s history. A classic head-to-head between two of the game’s greats, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, enthralled fans during the final round. At one point the ‘Golden Bear’ led by three shots but by the 17th Watson had turned it around to lead by a shot, a lead he held onto at the 18th. The third-placed golfer was 10 strokes behind as the two Americans walked off the 18th arm in arm.

There is also Rocca’s ‘Miracle Putt’ in 1995 as Constantino Rocca was chasing leader John Daly down the final straight when he fluffed a chip and sent the ball into the valley of sin at St Andrews. He then sank a 65-foot putt that undulated from start to finish and celebrated by lying face down punching the turf with joy. One of the greatest putts in the history of The Open counted for nothing, however, after Daly beat him in the play off.

“The Open has produced many memorable moments throughout its revered history and we have worked closely with Opus to capture them in a very special publication that fans of the Championship will be able to enjoy and cherish,” said Armit. “We are truly excited by this stunning book, which tells the story of golf’s original championship and the greats of the game who have lifted the famous Claret Jug. It is entirely fitting as we look forward to celebrating the 150th playing of The Open over the iconic Old Course at St Andrews next year.”

Breathtaking action photography, including many images spanning one-metre wide and several two-metre wide gatefolds will drive the narrative throughout the 800-plus giant pages in The Open Opus, which will be complemented by exclusively written essays and interviews with many of the sport’s icons and players. 

The Open Opus is designed to educate, inspire and share the glory with fans, young and old, on a scale previously unseen and become the ultimate collectors piece to treasure,” says Jo Edwards, Global Head of Licensing at the TSBA Group.

“We are excited to see this partnership come to fruition,” said Edwards. “The 150th Open is a momentous occasion in the history of golf. The Open Opus will capture the greatest moments from the Championship in style. With exclusive content, stunning photography and quality presentation, coupled with the limited number of copies available, it will become a collector’s edition to cherish.”

The Limited Marquee Opus ‘Champions’ Edition of only 150 copies will run to 800 pages, each measuring 20 inches x 20 inches (45cm x 45cm) weighing in excess of 32kg (70lb). The Opus will be leather hand-bound, signed by many Champion Golfers, greats and icons, individually numbered and include special features and experiences.

For licensing opportunities with The Open brand, please contact

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