The History of the Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup occurs every two years and is an infamous golfing competition between America and Europe.  The competition’s location alternates between courses both in America and Europe.

The Ryder Cup started in 1927 and was founded by Samuel Ryder, an English business man, entrepreneur, golf enthusiast and promoter.It seems that the inspiration behind the Ryder Cup came from an idea for a golf match between British and American professionals in 1926. Ryder became involved and sponsored the match, intending itto be the first Ryder Cup. However, upon the decision that the match would not be an official competition the first official Ryder Cup happened the following year.

The first cup donated to the competition by Samuel Ryder cost a mere £250, which might come as a surprise to most.The winner’s cup made for the most recent competitions, has risen in price considerably, the 2014 Ryder Cup wasaround $5,600.

The recent 2016, Ryder Cup was held in Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota from the 27th September- 2nd October.  The hosting nation were crowned winners after a highly unpredictable tournament. After years of European victories, 2016 saw the first US victory since 2008.

The USA victory was a fitting tribute to the recent passing of American golfing legend, Arnold Palmer, aged 87. Classed as one of the greats in golfing history he was nicknamed ‘The King’. Palmer holds an impressive run of titles. These include winning 62 PGA tour titles, winning 7 major titles and winning the PGA lifetime achievement award in 1998. With a career span of more than 6 decades he was inducted into the world golfing hall of fame in 1974.

Not only was he highly respected for his status as one of the greatest golfers in the sport’s history, he was also admired for his social impact on the golfing world. Fellow professionals spoke of how Palmers humble background and his plain spoken popularity helped change the perception of golf as an elite upper class past time to a more popular sport accessible to the middle and sporting classes.


Arnold Palmer had a special relationship with the Ryder Cup. PGA of America president Derek Sprague said “He loved the Ryder Cup, once saying he cherished his relationship with the event.” He went on to quote Palmers thoughts on the competition, “The game brings out the best in us, and the best will always bring out their game at the Ryder Cup.’ Arnold Palmer definitely seemed to bring out his best game at the cup as he captained the American team twice, made 6 appearances as a player and won 22 matches – the most matches won by an American player.

Although America took the winners spot this year, we cannot forget the previous successes of the European team.  Europe retained the trophy for three consecutive competitions from 2010, although their victories haven’t always been smooth.

In 2012 Europe went into the Sunday singles matches trailing behind the Americans. The defeatist amongst us would have called it a day there and then. But, if we think back to 1995 at Oak Hill we can see that Europe achieved a similar comeback. Less than a decade later it was reported that Europe needed something miraculous in order to retain the Ryder Cup trophy in Medinah.

With the success of Oakley wearing pair Ian Poulter and Rory Mcilroy over American duo Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson combined with Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald’s victory over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, the European team began to show some hope. Heading into the singles Europe had a lot to do. With their Oakley sunglasses in tow Mcilroy and Poulterbrought their ‘A’ game. Mcilroy won the Sunday singles 2 and 1 and Ian Poultercontinued his unbeaten streak in single matches, taking a huge point against Webb Simpson. The successful duo had one thing in common, they were both sporting Oakley sunglasses. Did that give them the edge?

As well as being known as a successful golfer, Ian Poulter has brought personality to the Ryder Cup. He has paraded many a flashy outfit and extravagant hairstyle on the golf course. With his brave combination of bright colours and lurid patterns he is a fashion icon of the golfing world. Not only has he been loud with his fashion choices he has always been loud with his presence on the Ryder Cup golf courses. He has not been scared to shout and interact with the crowd. A perfect example of this is 2012, at Medinah when Poulter and Bubba Watson, American golfer and fellow Oakley wearer, whipped the crowd into a frenzy.

The history of the Ryder Cup is infinite. The style and charisma of the sport is ever evolving.Will Oakley continue to make the grade?