The 2012 Ryder Cup was the 39th playing since its inception over 80 years ago in 1927 and was an absolute classic. It’s fair to say it was more than a bit good coming from behind to beat the USA, especially given the fervour their fans had throughout the week. But now it’s a long 2 year wait until the Ryder Cup returns to home soil in 2014 at Gleneagles.

As one of the most hotly contested tournaments in the world with fans and players alike the 40th playing of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles will be one to remember and the perfect opportunity for our golf corporate hospitality clients looking to really make their mark. Here are some facts from the Ryder Cup’s illustrious past.


  • Before the establishment of the Ryder Cup, there were 2 unofficial matches between the USA and Great Britain in 1921 and 1926. Great Britain won both!
  • The 1926 match so enthralled an English seed merchant named Samuel Ryder, he offered a gold cup costing £250 for the match. This was rejected by the Wentworth Club where the game was held in favour of gold medals for the winning British team.
  • Samuel Ryder instead donated the cup for the 1st Ryder Cup match, which was held in 1927 in Worcester, Massachusetts. It took the British team six days to reach Massachusetts.
  • The figure atop the gold cup is that of Abe Mitchell, tutor to Samuel Ryder and Britain’s first captain. Unfortunately Abe had appendicitis and so had to withdraw from the competition.
  • Between 1935 and 1985, a period of 50 years, Europe only emerged victorious once, in 1957. It was an impressive spell for the Americans, although their run did coincide with World War II, which caused the competition to cease for 10 years.
  • It is estimated over 620 million golfing enthusiasts will watch the 2012 Ryder Cup. The Ryder Cup is the third biggest sporting event in the world in terms of global audience, behind the Olympics and the World Cup.
  • It wasn’t until 1977 that the Ryder Cup saw a left hander play in the form of
    Englishman Peter Dawson.
  • European players weren’t allowed to compete until 1979. Now players such
    as Seve Ballesteros, Bernhard Langer and Jose Maria Olazabal have become
    synonymous with golf’s greatest team event.
  • In the event of an injury to a player on either team, each captain keeps the name
    of one team member in a sealed envelope.
  • Sir Nick Faldo holds the overall record for most match wins at the Ryder Cup with 23 victories
  • Arnold Palmer holds the record number of wins for the US side with 22.
  • Six holes-in-one have been hit in the Ryder Cup. The first was by Peter Butler in 1973, the latest was in 2006 by Scott Verplank. Two were actually hit in the 2006 Ryder Cup, the other by Paul Casey.
  • The US and European team captains traditionally compete against each other in a one-off match ahead of the Ryder Cup.
  • In 1937, American golfer Gene Sarazens miss-hit tee shot on the 15th hole hit a spectator who threw it back on to the green. The American birdied the hole to help the US team to an 8-4 victory.
  • In 1957, fiery Scot Eric Brown sarcastically ordered his caddie to fetch him a lounge chair to sit on during his Ryder Cup match with Tommy Bolt, who was playing very slowly
  • In 1987, in Muirfield, Ohio, American golfer Ben Crenshaw snapped his putter in disgust after going two shots down. He was forced to putt the remainder of the match with a one-iron and the edge of his sand wedge.

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