This weekend is the biennial Ryder Cup taking place at Le Golf National in France. This year’s competition is looking to be an exciting one with Tiger Wood’s recent win at the Tour Championship! The Ryder Cup is one of the most exciting events in golf for a few reasons. First, is the sportsmanship with the best of the best chosen to play in this event. Despite the fierce competition, everyone is there for their love of the game. There is no prize money after all! Next is the pride in their country. Only a select number of players are chosen for each side to represent their home. If they win, there is a large sense of pride in their accomplishments. The Ryder Cup is wildly popular, but what do you know about the event? Join us for a little history and some fun facts ahead of this weekend’s big match ups.
History of the Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup is a competition that takes place between the United States and Europe every 2 years. When it began in 1927, the competition was originally between the United States and Great Britain. This matchup took place at Worchester Country Club in Massachusetts. In 1973, the team name was changed to Great Britain and Ireland to reflect the inclusion of Ireland although their team members have been playing in the game since 1953. Eventually in 1979, the rest of continental Europe was invited to include their golfers and this inclusion has elevated the Ryder Cup’s popularity significantly. The Ryder Cup is named after Samuel Ryder, a British businessman who donated the original trophy.
The Ryder Cup involves various match play competitions between the 12 selected players from each team. A total of 28 matches are played over 3 days. On Friday and Saturday, there are 4 four ball matches and 4 foursomes play matches each day. Meaning, 4 groups play in the morning and 4 more in the afternoon. Then on Sunday 12 singles matches occur where all team members play. So how does the scoring work? Each match winner scores a point for their team, or a half a point if there is a tie. The winning team is decided by a total number of points.
Why is the Ryder Cup so popular? In simple terms, it is a matchup between America’s 12 best golfers against 12 Europe’s best golfers. Not to mention the crowd is rowdy. There is singing and chanting and if the crowd doesn’t like a particular golfer, they make it well known. This is far different than the typical reserved, quiet, golf-clap type of event. Plus, there is the team aspect. Golf is an individual event, but with the Ryder Cup not only are they playing for a team they are playing for a country. That is sure to bring some emotion!
Fun Facts About the Ryder Cup
- The master plan for Le Golf National included 45 holes. This included a second 18-hole course, a 9-hole course, and a teaching academy for golfers of all levels. It also features a 131-room resort!
- The oldest player ever in the Ryder Cup was Raymond Floyd of the USA who was 51 years and 20 days old. The youngest belongs to Sergio Garcia of Europe who was just 19.
- Le Golf National was originally used for agriculture purposes making it abnormally flat. 56.5 million cubic feet of dirt was delivered to shape the courses.
- The Albatros course was upgraded between 2014 and 2015 in order to lengthen several holes, redesign greens, reconstruct bunkers, and add a lake!
- This course is all about the party! 60,000 fans and volunteers are expected to visit the grounds during the competition each day.
- The average winning score for the Ryder Cup over the past four years has been 10.75 under par.
- Le Golf National will host the men’s and women’s golf competitions in the 2024 Paris Olympics.
- The most appearances on a Ryder Cup team belongs to Phil Mickelson of the USA. He has appeared in 12.
- Since 2012 celebrities have been invited to play a match ahead of the official Ryder Cup contest.
With the Ryder Cup being played in France this year, you may be interested in recording it rather than dealing with time zones. The morning rounds begin at 2 am eastern time! This is the perfect chance to invite your friends over for a viewing party. You’ll all get to enjoy the rowdy event and take pride in your country. The United States leads in victories 26 to 13 after all!
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