It may be difficult to believe, but the season’s final major is around the corner. So far, we have Scottie Scheffler, Xander Schauffele and Bryson DeChambeau adding (or re-adding) their names to the history books in 2024, and all will be teeing it up at renowned Royal Troon with a treasured trophy, the coolest name in the game and golf immortality on the line in the coming days. This will be the 152nd British Open Championship, and the 10th played at the Old Course of Troon.

Along with Scheffler, Schauffele and DeChambeau, the best pros in the world will be making the Scotland pilgrimage, most notably Rory McIlroy. The Northern Irishman took a little time off after his U.S. Open collapse but will defend his 2023 Scottish Open title and then get one last chance to end a now decade-long winless stretch in majors. He’ll have tough competition and a world-famous course throwing everything at him.

To get you ready for the major, we offer this British Open primer, answering some of the frequently asked questions about golf’s oldest major championship.

When is the Open Championship played?

With the PGA Tour schedule re-arranged in 2019, the Open Championship is now the year’s final men’s major. It is still, however, played in mid-July. This year, it will be held July 18-21.

Who conducts the Open Championship?

The R&A conducts the championship.

Is the British Open the same as the Open Championship?

Well, yes. Kind of. It depends on who you ask. In the United States and other parts of the world, the tournament is often referred to as the British Open to help distinguish the championship from Opens in other countries. However, the official name of the tournament is The Open Championship.

When and where was the first British Open? And who won?

The first British Open was played in 1860 at Prestwick in South Ayrshire, Scotland. It was a one-day, 36-hole competition. Willie Park Sr., won by two strokes with a total score of 174.

What is the format of the British Open? How many players are in the field?

The Open is a four-round, 72-hole stroke-play competition, with a cut after 36 holes. There are 156 players in the field with three more spots available this week to the top finishes at the Scottish Open by anyone not already in the British Open field.

If players are tied after 72 holes, how is the winner determined?

The British Open uses a four-hole aggregate playoff if players are tied at the end of four rounds. If players are still tied after four holes, they play sudden death until a winner is determined. It’s not the only major to use the aggregate format in the event of a tie—the PGA Championship uses a three-hole aggregate playoff and the U.S. Open made the switch from an 18-hole playoff to a two-hole aggregate in 2018.

Since 2000, there have been four playoffs at the Open, the most recent occurring in 2015 at the Old Course when Zach Johnson defeated Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman to claim his second career major title.

Where is the British Open being held in 2024?

Ross Parker/R&A

The 152nd Open Championship will be held at Royal Troon Golf Club in Troon, South Ayrshire, Scotland. It is set to be the 10th Open played at the Old Course of Troon, and the sixth since the club gained “Royal” status. It most recently hosted a major in 2016 with Henrik Stenson emerging victorious in a down-to-the-wire struggle with Phil Mickelson. The iconic course also hosted the Women’s British Open in 2020.

The course is known for its “deceiving” looks. The following is from Derek Duncan. Architecture Editor for Golf Digest: “It looks straightforward, almost docile, until the wind blows. Then, if it’s downwind out to the ninth hole, as it usually is, the homeward nine becomes a long march into a stiff breeze, if not an ocean gale. Troon dates from 1878 and was given its Royal title 100 years later. Few know its famed 123-yard eighth, the Postage Stamp, the shortest in British Open golf, was originally a blind par 3—the present green wasn’t built until 1910.”

RELATED: Record crowd expected at Troon, with longest and shortest holes in Open history

Who won the 2023 British Open?

The 2023 Open was a domination of sorts for the then-majorless Brian Harman. The American put on a show at Royal Liverpool as he shot a 13-under 271, six strokes better than runners-up Jason Day, Tom Kim, Jon Rahm and Sepp Straka. It was a runaway victory and his first win on tour in six years.

Through 54 holes, Harman was 44-for-44 from inside 10 feet. That’ll get it done.

RELATED: The moneyball driving strategy that won Brian Harman the claret jug

Who has won the most British Opens?

Harry Vardon holds the record for most victories at the Open Championship with six. Four golfers have won the Open five times: James Braid, J.H. Taylor, Peter Thomson and Tom Watson.

How can you qualify for the British Open?

There are several ways players can qualify for the Open, including through the Open Qualifying Series and Final Qualifying, which you can learn more about here.

Click here for the most up-to-date field list for the 2024 British Open.

Will Tiger Woods be playing in this year’s Open?

Tiger Woods walks off the 18th green in tears with his caddie Steve Williams following his victory at Royal Liverpool in 2006. Ross Kinnaird

Yes, Tiger Woods is scheduled to be back for yet another major. It will be his fifth start in a PGA Tour event this season—the Genesis Invitational, the Masters, the PGA Championship, the U.S. Open and now the Open Championship—with two missed cuts in his last two tournaments.

Woods is exempt into the Open as a previous winner. His three Claret Jugs allow him to automatically be able to play in golf’s oldest major until he’s 60.

Will Phil Mickelson be playing in this year’s Open?

Phil Mickelson holds the Claret Jug after winning the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. Rob Carr

Yes, Phil Mickelson is scheduled to tee it up at Royal Troon this year as well. The last time Troon hosted a major, Lefty somehow shot a 17-under and lost to Henrik Stenson by three strokes. The 53-year-old did win the 2013 Open at least, one of his six career major titles. The LIV golfer is coming off of missed cuts at the PGA and U.S. Open.

What other sites host the British Open?

The Open Championship uses a rotation or “rota” of courses in the United Kingdom. There are currently 10 courses in the rota. Five of them are in Scotland: Carnoustie, St. Andrews, Royal Troon, Turnberry and Muirfield. The other four are in England: Royal Birkdale, Royal Liverpool, Royal St. George’s and Royal Lytham. Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush, where the Open was played in 2019 and will be held again next year, is the most recent course to join the rota.

RELATED: Get to know the golf courses of the R&A’s Open rota

Which country has hosted the most British Opens?

Scotland has hosted the most, with 97 Open Championships (soon to be 98).

How many players make the 36-hole cut?

The top 70 players and ties make the cut at the British Open.

Who is the oldest winner of the British Open?

Print Collector

Old Tom Morris is the oldest, winning the Open in 1867 at Prestwick at age 46.

The youngest?

Young Tom Morris is the youngest, winning the Open the following year in 1868 at Prestwick at age 17. He also holds the record for most consecutive victories (four), winning the next three in a row after his first.

What is the lowest round shot in the British Open?

Ten players held the record of 63 up until seven years ago at Royal Birkdale, when South Africa’s Branden Grace set a new record for all major championships, carding a third-round eight-under 62.

What is the lowest round in relation to par in British Open history?

McIlroy and Paul Broadhurst hold the record for lowest rounds in relation to par, with Broadhurst carding a nine-under 63 in the third round of the 1990 Open at St. Andrews. McIlroy’s nine-under 63 also came at St. Andrews in the first round of the 2010 Open.

What is the 72-hole scoring record? And the record in relation to par?

Henrik Stenson caps off his record-breaking 2016 Open win at Royal Troon. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Henrik Stenson set both records in 2016 at Royal Troon, with 264 strokes and 20 under par.

What is the largest margin of victory?

The largest margin of victory in an Open came in 1862 at Prestwick when Old Tom Morris won by 13 strokes while the event was still contested over 36 holes.

The largest margin since World War II is eight strokes by Tiger Woods over Thomas Bjorn and Ernie Els during the 2000 Open at St. Andrews.

What is the highest winning score in British Open history?

The highest winning total came in 1894 when England’s J.H. Taylor won with 326 strokes at Royal St. George’s.

Has there ever been a wire-to-wire winner of the British Open?

There have been seven wire-to-wire winners in Open Championship history. They are: Ted Ray (1912, Muirfield), Bobby Jones (1927, St. Andrews), Gene Sarazen (1932, Prince’s), Henry Cotton (1934, Royal St. George’s), Tom Weiskopf (1973, Royal Troon), Tiger Woods (2005, St. Andrews) and Rory McIlroy (2014, Royal Liverpool).

Has an amateur ever won the British Open?

An amateur has won the Open Championship six times. The list includes: John Ball (1890, Prestwick), Harold Hilton (1892, Muirfield and 1897, Royal Liverpool) and Bobby Jones (1926, Royal Lytham and St. Annes; 1927, St. Andrews; 1930, Royal Liverpool).

What is the Silver Medal at the British Open?

Stuart Franklin/R&A

The Silver Medal is awarded to the leading amateur of the Open Championship, provided he completes all 72 holes. In 2023, it was rewarded to South Africa’s Christo Lamprecht. The then 22-year-old rising senior at Georgia Tech finished T-74 (295, +11). He was the only one of the six amateurs to make the cut at Royal Liverpool. He will not be in the field this year.

How many times has an American won the British Open?

Of the 151 Open Championships that have been contested, an American has won 46 of them, the most of any country. Those 46 wins are split between 31 different golfers.

Which country has produced the next most Open?

The United States has the most with 46. Scotland has produced the next most with 41 winners, while England has produced 22.

What type of conditions is the British Open played in?

The Open Championship is played at classic links golf courses that feature deep bunkers, no trees, large and undulating greens, and high fescue. It’s typically played in high winds, colder temperatures and, often, rain.

What does the winner of the British Open receive?

John Daly holds the Claret Jug after the 1995 British Open at St Andrews Golf Club. J.D. Cuban

In the early days of the Open Championship, the winner received the Challenge Belt, which was returned the next year and awarded to the next winner. If, however, a golfer won the Open for three straight years, he would be able to keep the belt permanently. Young Tom Morris accomplished that feat in 1870. With the retirement of the belt, the R&A created a new award—the claret jug, which has become the most widely recognized trophy in golf. The claret jug was first awarded in 1873. Today, winners’ names are engraved on the trophy just as they are completing their victory, and appear on the jug when they are handed the trophy at the prize ceremony after the championship. Winners return the claret jug each year (although they also receive a replica that they can keep).

The winner also carries the honorific label of “The Champion Golfer of the Year.”

What is the British Open’s purse?

The Open Championship purse has yet to be announced, but the 2023 first-place prize money payout was $3 million from a $16.5 million purse.

What are the confirmed future sites in the Open rota?

Future sites have been confirmed through 2025. They are as follows:

2025: Royal Portrush, Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland

2026: Royal Birkdale Golf Club, Southport, England

Who broadcasts the British Open?

David Cannon

NBC signed a 12-year deal to broadcast the Open Championship, and this year will be its eighth televising the event, along with its cable network, Golf Channel. Thursday and Friday coverage will be on both Peacock and Golf Channel, while the weekend will be on NBC.

• • •

Is it the British Open or the Open Championship? The name of the final men’s major of the golf season is a subject of continued discussion. The event’s official name, as explained in this op-ed by former R&A chairman Ian Pattinson, is the Open Championship. But since many United States golf fans continue to refer to it as the British Open, and search news around the event accordingly, Golf Digest continues to utilize both names in its coverage.

Main image: Warren Little