Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup is a biennial match play tournament played between two teams of professional players representing Europe and the United States of America, with the venue alternating between courses in the US and Europe.

The idea of holding such an event arose in 1921, when a team of American golfers sailed the Atlantic early to prepare for The Open at St Andrews by playing in a warm-up tournament against British professional on the Kings course at Gleneagles. Five years later, a similar group of US players also arrived early to take on a ten-man side at Wentworth shortly before The Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes, with medals again presented to all the participants.

And so it all officially began in 1927 at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts when a Great British 9-man team captained by Ted Ray was trounced 9½ - 2½ by Walter Hagen’s Team USA.

The Ryder Cup

That was back in the days when 36-hole matches were played over two days; foursomes on the first day and singles on the second. Indeed, the first thirteen editions were played like this and it wasn’t until 1961 that games were reduced to 18-holes. Two years later, the format was changed again to include four-ball better ball matches and an extra day’s play.

Organised by the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe – which is a conglomeration of the European Tour, the PGA and the Confederation of Professional Golf – the competition has evolved down the years, broadening its appeal through the inclusion of professional players from continental Europe, and this astute move has led to a far more competitive set-up in the modern era.

Some might find it strange there’s no prize money on offer for today’s mega-rich...

Ryder Cup host courses

Belfry (Brabazon)

1st Warwickshire - Best in Area 76th England Ranking

The Brabazon course at The Belfry doesn’t need introducing. This course has played host to more Ryder Cups than any other course on the planet – four in total.

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Champions (Cypress Creek)

14th Texas - Best in Area

Former Ryder Cup course at Champions Golf Club, Cypress Creek, is a storied layout. The water in front of the 12th green is known as Bob Hope’s Lake, as he was the first person to lose a ball in it!

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East Lake

4th Georgia - Best in Area

All profits from East Lake Golf Club go to support the local community. East Lake now stands for hope in Atlanta as well as tradition.

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Eldorado

38th California - Best in Area

Two years after the Eldorado Country Club was formed in 1957, it hosted the 13th series of Ryder Cup matches so its course is historically important. In 2003, Tom Fazio carried out extensive alterations to the layout.

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Ganton

1st Yorkshire - Best in Area 9th England Ranking 26th Britain & Ireland Ranking 77th World Ranking

This sandy, gently undulating site was once a North Sea inlet. Consequently, Ganton Golf Club has all the characteristics of a links and a heathland course.

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Greenbrier (Greenbrier)

Gem USA - Best in Area

The Greenbrier course suffered major flood damage in June 2016. Some of the course is open, but Phil Mickelson Design has been commissioned to renovate eight original holes and build ten new ones.

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Hazeltine National

3rd Minnesota - Best in Area

Hazeltine National Golf Club was modified by Rees Jones (son of RTJ) ahead of the 1991 US Open which turned into a historic battle between Scott Simpson and Payne Stewart.

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K Club (Palmer North)

1st Kildare - Best in Area 24th Ireland Ranking

The K Club, or to give it its full title, the Kildare Country Club, is located in 550 acres of rolling County Kildare countryside – it’s the most renowned golf resort in Ireland.

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Ryder Cup Leaderboard

Rank Name Courses Played
1 Paul Rudovsky Courses Played 37
2 Fergal O'Leary Courses Played 32
3 Bob McCoy Courses Played 31
4 Joseph Andriole Courses Played 27
5 Mark White Courses Played 26
6 James Gold Courses Played 25
7 BL Tracker Courses Played 24
8 Paul Jones Courses Played 21
9 Joshua Asher Courses Played 20
= David Harak Courses Played 20