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Ryder Cup History

A little over 90 years ago, 20 men assembled at Gleneagles in the heartland of Scotland for an international challenge match between Great Britain and the United States.

Among them were golfing greats such as Harry Vardon, J.H Taylor and Walter Hagen. The 1921 match had no name, no real fanfare and no trophy to play for - but it whetted the appetite and eventually gave rise to the phenomenon of The Ryder Cup, first officially played six years later.

It is the second time in history that The Ryder Cup has been staged in Scotland, The Home of Golf, the last time was more than 40 years ago. 2014 saw Team Europe complete a hat-trick of successive wins.


In 1973, the American team containing the likes of Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Lee Trevino beat Great Britain & Ireland at the tournament held at Muirfield.  Fast forward to the last Ryder Cup at Medinah, when the European team overturned a four-point deficit going into the last day’s singles matches and went on to win.

With such history, it is needless to say that The 2014 Ryder Cup was a tremendous occasion with Europe completing their third successive wins over the visiting American team at Gleneagles.

Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota will host the 41st Ryder Cup in 2016. For more information, click here.



The King’s Course at Gleneagles is the venue for an unofficial match between Great Britain and the USA. Great Britain wins this precursor to The Ryder Cup, with James Braid, designer of the King’s Course, playing his part in the home victory.


The inaugural Ryder Cup takes place at Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts. The course was designed by Donald Ross, the legendary course architect from Dornoch. The Americans, captained by ‘golf’s first superstar’ Walter Hagen, win the match.


Aberdeenshire man George Duncan captains Great Britain to victory over the USA in the second ever Ryder Cup and the first one on British soil. Duncan beats rival captain Walter Hagen 10 and 8 in a 36-hole singles match. The venue course, Moortown in Leeds, was designed by Alister MacKenzie, the Scots creator of Augusta National.


Great Britain wins the 4th Ryder Cup at Southport & Ainsdale in England. The course was designed by James Braid. The Ryder Cup returns to Southport & Ainsdale in 1937.


The USA wins the 9th Ryder Cup at the iconic Pinehurst No. 2 course in North Carolina. The course is another Donald Ross design.


Johnny Fallon from Lanark captains the British team against Arnold Palmer’s USA. The venue is East Lake in Atlanta, Georgia. Donald Ross shaped this course too. George Will from Ladybank in Fife defeats Palmer in the final day singles, but the Americans win the 15th Ryder Cup.


Eric Brown from Bathgate captains Great Britain against Sam Snead’s USA in the 18th Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale in England. In a memorable finale, Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin halve their match on the final hole for The Ryder Cup to end in a tie for the very first time. Another Bathgate man Bernhard Gallacher becomes the youngest player to represent Britain at the age of 20.


Aberdonian Harry Bannerman picks up two-and-a-half points for Great Britain at the 19th Ryder Cup at the Old Warson Country Club in St Louis, Missouri. He secures the half in his final day singles match against Arnold Palmer. The Americans win The Ryder Cup.


Muirfield in East Lothian becomes the first Scottish course to host The Ryder Cup. The Great Britain team becomes Great Britain & Ireland for the first time, but the Americans win the 20th Ryder Cup.


Anglo-Scot Brian Barnes beats Jack Nicklaus twice in the singles in the same day at the 21st Ryder Cup at Laurel Valley in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Norman Wood from Prestonpans in East Lothian also beats Lee Trevino in his final day singles match, but the Americans win this Ryder Cup.


Sandy Lyle makes his Ryder Cup debut at the 23rd Ryder Cup at The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Great Britain & Ireland is now Europe with Seve Ballesteros among the continental players taking part. The USA wins though. Lyle will go on to play in five Ryder Cups and feature in 18 matches.


Sam Torrance memorably holes the winning putt for Europe in the 26th Ryder Cup at The Belfry. It’s Europe’s first Ryder Cup win in 28 years.


Kirkcaldy-born Gordon Brand, Jnr is part of the winning European team at the 27th Ryder Cup at Muirfield Village in Dublin, Ohio. He features again two years later when Europe retains the Ryder Cup at The Belfry.


Bernard Gallacher captains Europe to victory at the 31st Ryder Cup at Oak Hill Country Club in Pittsford, New York. It is only the second time the Americans are beaten on home soil. It’s third time lucky for Gallacher as Ryder Cup captain.


The 33rd Ryder Cup at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts is won by the Americans in controversial circumstances. Former Open champion Paul Lawrie features in the European team, playing in five matches with a 3-1-1 record. The course was largely the work of Willie Campbell of Musselburgh.


Sam Torrance captains Europe to victory in the 34th Ryder Cup at The Belfry, 17 years after holing the winning putt at the same venue.


Colin Montgomerie captains Europe to victory in the 38th Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor in Wales. Before captaining Europe, Montgomerie played in 36 matches at 8 Ryder Cups and was never beaten in a singles match.


Scotland's Paul Lawrie was pivotal in 'the miracle at Medinah' success, recording a resounding 5&3 victory over in-form Brandt Snedeker to get early points on the board and help ensure the Ryder Cup Trophy is in European hands come Gleneagles 2014.


Paul McGinley leads the European team to a hat-trick of victories with a comfortable margin of 16½-11½. The crowd erupts when Jamie Donaldson hits a stunning shot to the green on the 15th hole securing the point that retained Sam Ryder's golden chalice for Europe. A brilliant moment for the European team and Scotland, The Home of Golf.