History of the Ryder Cup

Ryder Cup WinnersCompetition for the Ryder Cup began in 1927, following an exhibition match played the year before, between an American team of professional golfers and one representing Great Britain. The first match was played on the East course at Wentworth Golf Club in Surrey, England.

It was agreed that the trophy would be played for biennially on a home and away basis. The matches were jointly administered by the United States PGA and that of Great Britain,(before it became open to Europeans). The Ryder Cup itself was donated by an American businessman, Samuel Ryder, who was a keen amateur golfer and eager to see further competition between the two countries.

To begin with matches were evenly balanced, but as golf proliferated in the States, the Americans became stronger and began to dominate the event; often winning by embarrassing margins. This dominance eventually led to an agreement that initially led to the British team including Irish Golfers and then, in 1979, to a full European Team. The latter change was made due to the emergence of Spanish golfers, Severiano Ballesteros in particular. Ballesteros and his fellow countryman, Antonio Garrrido, were the first Spaniards to represent the new look European team in 1979.

Ryder Cup HistorySince then the European golf tour has grown out of all recognition and its European Ryder Cup Team has profited as a result. Indeed Ballesteros and then later Bernhard Langer were the first two Europeans to captain the team. The real benefit of the change is that the nature of the competition has become very intense. The competition is fiercely contested and has become compulsive viewing for a huge international audience. It has also become evenly matched. Since 1979, the Europeans have won seven and the USA Ryder Cup Team, six. Europe has also retained the cup once.


Recent Ryder Cup Captains

* = Winning Captain