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Which Venue to Choose for a Ryder Cup Stay & Play?

By: Alex Picken | Fri 21 Sep 2018

The Ryder Cup is fast approaching and Europe has the honour of hosting this year’s competition, filled with the hope that the team can seek revenge on home soil after the disappointing defeat at Hazeltine in 2016. Europe has been victorious in the last five Ryder Cups on home soil, each one at a different of venues from all over the UK and Europe. To pick a favourite Ryder Cup memory is hard, but to pick a favourite venue or course is significantly harder. Many of our own Golfshake Ambassadors have been lucky enough to be able to play at some of these historic courses and visit these prestigious venues, here are their opinions on what each venue provides and the unique golfing experience that they had.

Golfshake Podcast: Rating the Ryder Cup Venues


The 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles was set to be a fascinating affair, with America aiming for revenge after the incredible scenes in Chicago just two years before. The PGA Centenary course at Gleneagles would play host to the 40th Ryder Cup, only the second time the competition would take place in Scotland. Designed by the great Jack Nicklaus himself, the Centenary course is one of the most picturesque and spectacular golf courses in Scotland. Nicklaus called the area “the finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with,” a significant compliment from one of the world’s best golfers and golf course designers. The Gleneagles estate offers a luxurious 5-star facility and award-winning spa. The resort is also easily accessible from local airports like Edinburgh and Glasgow, perfectly located for guests coming from all destinations. Scotland has always been renowned for being the home of golf, and Gleneagles keeps up the tradition of a Scottish course that offers an incredible setting along with a luxurious stay.

A Guide to Golf at Gleneagles

Golfshake opinion: Out of all the Ryder Cup venue options, Gleneagles was voted the favourite by our ambassadors. While the Centenary course wasn’t the outright favourite, the overall venue, course options, facilities and experience put Gleneagles as the firm favourite in our ambassadors opinions.

Celtic Manor

The 38th Ryder Cup was held in Newport, Wales, on the Twenty Ten Course at Celtic Manor. The win for Europe was one of the most memorable Ryder Cup moments in recent history, with Graeme McDowell’s marvellous celebration on the 18th green quickly becoming an iconic image for Celtic Manor and for European golf. The tournament was hampered by heavy, torrential rain throughout. Even in this horrific Welsh weather the course held firm throughout and highlighted the incredible design and immaculate condition of the Twenty Ten course. Probably the best feature of the Celtic Manor Resort is the incredible accommodation and facilities. The resort consists of three hotels, a country inn, luxury lodges, six restaurants and three championship golf courses. The resort is breathtakingly beautiful, an elegant facility that provides the perfect balance of a great golfing experience, combined with a luxurious hotel stay.

The Twenty Ten Experience

10 Reasons to Play Golf at Celtic Manor

Golfshake opinion: The golf course and practice facilities were rated very highly by our Golfshake ambassadors, but overall the standout feature of Celtic Manor was the incredible food and accommodation options available the resort.

The K Club

The 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club in Kildare, Ireland highlighted all the brilliant qualities of the Ryder Cup; talent, passion and above all, incredible sportsmanship. The tournament was remembered for the emotional scenes on the 16th green after Darren Clarke’s singles win, he dedicated his victory to his late wife who passed away from cancer weeks before the tournament. The reaction from the fans and the American team showcased the mutual respect and brilliant sportsmanship that the Ryder Cup has always provided. The Arnold Palmer designed course is one of Ireland’s crowned jewels when it comes to golf. The beautiful parkland course has hosted many European events of the highest order, creating a well-respected reputation among Europe. The 5-star hotel is the pinnacle of fine dining, while the historic estate is home to a variety of activities, experiences and beautiful scenery, perfect for golfers and guests of all backgrounds.

Golfshake opinion: The course is famous in Ireland for being a challenging but beautiful golfing test, but where many of our Golfshake ambassadors really found the K Club Resort to excel was the incredible 5-star hotel, which provides every golfer with amazing accommodation and a top quality dining experience.

The Belfry

Commonly known as the home of Ryder Cup golf in Europe, the Belfry’s Brabazon course has successfully hosted the competition four times and has created plenty of memorable moments for the golfing archives. The Warwickshire course has a masterful legacy of staging prestigious golfing events and has set the standard for future European tour events. The resort itself has only recently undergone a huge £26 million renovation, this includes the accommodation, practice facilities, meeting rooms and other public spaces, adding a modern touch to an already beautiful and established resort. The courses history with the Ryder Cup competition speaks for itself, the Belfry has provided the Ryder Cup with unbelievable memories and has been a fortress for the European team. With the combination of the newly renovated 4-star resort and the traditions of the famous Brabazon course, the Belfry truly is the pinnacle of stay and play courses in England.

The Brabazon Course Review

10 Reasons to Play Golf at The Belfry

Golfshake opinion: The legacy of the Brabazon course speaks for itself, but where many of the Golfshake ambassadors really thought the Belfry truly excelled was the unbelievable practice facilities located at the resort, along with the overall experience of the venue itself.


Designed by legendary golf course designer Robert Trent Jones, Valderrama Golf Club played host to the 1997 Ryder Cup competition, in which Europe narrowly defeated the Americans, starting off their run of five consecutive home victories. The course is renowned for having an incredibly challenging layout, which has given it the prestigious standing of one of Europe’s best and most difficult courses. The finishing stretch at Valderrama has been the scene of many tense and exciting moments, the perfect situation for a competition like the Ryder Cup. Located in the beautiful area of Sotogrande, Valderrama golf club is at the heart of elegance and luxury in Spain, with a wide variety of extravagant hotels and restaurants available in the nearby area of the golf club. The challenging course provides golfers of all abilities with a stern test, but a golfing experience that they will never forget.

Golfshake opinion: For members reviews of Valderrama, follow this Golfshake link.

Le Golf National

The 2018 Ryder Cup tournament is being held for the first time ever, on the L'Albatros course at Le Golf National in France. The weight of this year’s Ryder Cup has a new kind of significance, with Europe intent on avenging their disappointing defeat at Hazeltine in 2016. The current host of the French Open and widely recognized as one of the best courses in all of Europe, Le Golf National is one of the most exciting venues to ever host the Ryder Cup. The strength of both teams has certainly added to the anticipation of the event, but the incredible venue of Le Golf National is what has got both sets of European and American fans excited. The L’Albatros course layout is one of the toughest and most challenging on the European circuit. The course is filled with strategic risk/reward holes that treacherously entice golfers into playing dangerous shots. Water surrounds the course, especially on the signature 18th hole which has the potential to be the scene of tense and dramatic final moments on a Sunday afternoon. The narrow fairways and thick rough poses a challenge for golfers of all abilities, meaning that precision is one of the keys to success on the course. The venue itself promises to deliver high expectations for the tournament. Located around 30-minutes outside of Paris, the golf club is easily accessible for fans travelling from all over the world. The anticipation for the 2018 Ryder Cup has an expectation and level of excitement like no other. The return of Tiger Woods brings a unique force to the American team, potential match-ups like Poulter vs. Reed bring another level of excitement for the fans, but above all, the enormity of this incredible venue at Le Golf National and the difficulty of the L’Albatros course has significantly raised the temperature for this brilliant competition.

Golfshake opinion: For a detailed look at Le Golf National, click on this link to watch Golfshake’s Owen Davies’ travel vlog of the 2018 Ryder Cup venue or watch below.

One of the brilliant things about the Ryder Cup is that the majority of the golf courses that are used as host venues are accessible and available for the general public to visit and even play. Many of these courses’ standout to supporters and golfing fanatics due to the memorable moments they witnessed on a certain hole or specific green during the competition. This effect is unique to the Ryder Cup and places a level of significance on a particular golf course or golfing venue like no other event can. This raises the question, what moment will be the catalyst to send the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National in the golfing archives for years to come.

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