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Old Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum

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The Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum opened in conjunction with Cinnabar Hills Golf Club in August 1998. Founder Lee Brandenburg, an avid golf collector, has accumulated the majority of these museum pieces over the past 40 years. Looking through all the various exhibits, one learns to understand his respect and love for the game of golf.
Enjoy this interview with Mr. Brandenburg, interviewed by John Schiro. There is a personal connection between Lee and almost each item in the museum, and the stories are endless. Together, Lee and John discuss Lee's passion for golf and collecting memorabilia for museum. The interview is followed with a exclusive tour of Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum, given by both Mr. Brandenburg and Mr. Schiro.

One of the pinnacles of the entire collection to the museum is the collection of trophies. Six fully engraved, solid sterling silver and gold trophies are on display: The four major Championships trophies (The Masters, The U.S. Open, British Open, and PGA Championship), the Ryder Cup trophy, and the newly aquired U.S. Amateur Championship trophy. This is probably the only place in the world where full-size exact replicas can be found. The following is a description and short history of each trophy:

U.S. Open Trophy

Horace Rawlings captured the first U.S. Open title in 1895 at Newport Golf Club in Rhode Island. Rawlings' winnings included $150, a gold medal and a one-year entitlement to the sterling silver championship trophy. The original cup was destroyed in a fire at Tam O'Shanter Golf Club in Illinois in September 1946. The USGA decided to preserve the look of the original trophy and presented a full size replacement in April 1947. This replacement rotated between the new champions each year, until 1986, when it was permanently retired to the USGA Museum in Far Hills, New Jersey.

The British Open - Claret Jug

The famous Claret Jug Trophy was made by Mackay Cunningham and Company of Edinburgh and is dated 1873. In 1927, the Championship Committee decided that the original trophy remain in the possession of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The British Open was first played at Prestwick in 1860. The inaugural champion, Willie Clark, was presented with a red Moroccan leather belt embellished with a silver buckle and emblems. This trophy was retired when young Tom Morris won it three times in a row. During a meeting at the Prestwick Club in 1871, it was decided that the location of the Open should rotate between the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers and Prestwick. In 1872, the three clubs agreed to pay $10 each to provide a new British Open Trophy. It was not until 1894 that other clubs were added to the rotation.

Masters Trophy

The Masters Trophy depicts the clubhouse at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia. The trophy, which was introduced in 1961, was made by Spaulding Brothers and contains 900 separate pieces of silver. The clubhouse rests atop a pedestal that features the names of past champions and runners up. The Masters champion receives a sterling silver replica, one-quarter the size of the one displayed here, a gold medal and the famed green jacket.

Ryder Cup Trophy

This famous trophy is named after the founder and sponsor of the Ryder Cup matches, Samuel Ryder. The original solid gold trophy, which has been permanently stored away, stands 17 inches tall and was designed by Mappin and Webb, London Silversmiths. Samuel Ryder insisted that the figure that stands atop the cup be his friend and coach, Abe Mitchell. In its place, a replica that is used on all occasions was made of solid sterling silver and gold gilt, exactly like the one displayed here. This event was contested between American and British professional golfers until 1979, when the British team was expanded to include professional golfers from the European continent.

Wanamaker Trophy

The Rodman Wanamaker Trophy is the famed prize of the PGA Championship and one of the largest trophies in golf. Wanamaker, a New York City department store owner and son of founder John Wanamaker, donated the trophy and the $2,580 purse in the inaugural PGA Championship in 1916. The champion was a British-born professional, Jim Barnes, who captured his win at Siwanoy Country Club in Bronxville, New York. The original trophy permanently resides at the PGA headquarters in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.