The Ryder Cup is a hotly contested biennial competition between The United States of America and Europe. This is golf played at the highest level and although few prisoners are take, the competition evokes real feelings of passion from players and gallery alike. However, it was good to see the friendliness and sporting ethos returning into the competition after the 2010 event when The Ryder Cup was held in Wales for the first time.
The fuse was lit in 1921 when the inaugural event took place in Scotland as Great Britain and Ireland took on The United States of America. Gleneagles played host on this occasion and so the onset of the great rivalry between our nations began. Although the «home» team were triumphant, it was not long before the USA were champions at every Ryder Cup match. The rest of Europe were then included, helping even up the odds somewhat!
Samuel Ryder set about donating a cup, together with the promise of £5 to each golfer on the winning side. He also paid for some chicken sandwiches and champagne.
The image engraved upon the Ryder Cup is that of the man responsible for teaching Sam Ryder how to become a great golfer himself. His name was Abe Mitchell, and although selected as the 1927 Captain for Great Britain and Ireland he became ill before embarking aboard the Aquitania and could not make the arduous journey across to New York.
The Ryder Cup has not been held in Scotland for forty years, but is «coming home» in 2014 when it will once again be contested at Gleneagles. The course chosen to host this prestigious event is The PGA Centenary Course. This is a course re-designed by one of the «greats» Jack Nicklaus, who declared it was «the finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with» and it’s fast becoming recognised as a new classic.
September 2012 will see The Ryder Cup being fought over in Illinois at the Medinah Country Club with team Captains chosen as Davis Love III for The United States and Jose Olazabal for the defending holders of the cup. Jose is sure to have a tear in his eye as he captains the Europeans as he will be thinking about his dear friend and Ryder Cup team-mate Seve Ballesteros who passed away on 7th May 2011 aged 54. Seve was a fine ambassador for golf in general and The Ryder Cup in particular, and will be sadly missed.
We have put together an information site about golf in Scotland, with a little bit of history about the great game, which we hope you enjoy reading about.