The Best Ryder Cup Venues You Can Play
The Ryder Cup joins the major championships in being the pinnacle of professional golf, and it’s time for the biennial tournament to take place again.
Due to the stature of the competition, the Ryder Cup has visited some of the most influential venues throughout Europe and America.
Were you aware that you too can play many of these locations? We provide information on nine previous Ryder Cup venues that you can experience!
PGA National was tasked with hosting the 1983 Ryder Cup as America were crowned champions via a narrow result of 14 ½ to 13 ½, which marked the closest Ryder Cup scoreline since a tie in 1969. Located near the beautiful city of Miami, PGA National remains a frequent stop for the PGA Tour due to the immaculate golf courses that reside on-site. In total, there are five layouts for visitors to explore, including The Champion Course that is home to the Honda Classic.
Further influences include Arnold Palmer, Tom and George Fazio. With more than 330 rooms available, PGA National is a gigantic resort that can withstand hundreds of golfers concurrently. All guestrooms are designed in a lavish style and many boast a private balcony or picturesque views of the sprawling estate. In total, there are seven restaurants located on the premises, with varying cuisines appealing to a wide range of visitor.
Of all the venues that the iconic Ryder Cup has visited, The Belfry has had the honour of hosting the esteemed event on more occasions than anywhere else in the world! The latest edition to take place, in 2002, saw Europe record their largest victory since 1985 after winning the cup in exciting fashion - downing America by a margin of 15 ½ to 12 ½ . Of course, ardent DP World Tour fans will know that the Brabazon, the course used to host the Ryder Cup, is the annual home of the British Masters, which was the location for Richard Bland’s memorable win only a few years back.
For anyone who hasn’t visited The Belfry, you can expect a golfing haven that boasts three golf courses in superb condition. The Derby Course is viewed as the inferior of the three but mid-handicappers will enjoy the challenge they will find here. On the other hand, the PGA National and the Brabazon are of supreme quality and they will provide a wonderful experience and test of golf. More than 300 bedrooms are available for renting, each containing bespoke furnishing and décor to exude a cozy environment. Furthermore, multiple eateries keep up with the demand from arguably the most popular UK-based golf resort!
The 1997 Ryder Cup marked the first occasion that the tournament was held in continental Europe, and officials could not have selected a greater venue to host. We are all aware of Vaderrama’s difficulty and charm, so it was great to see Europe inflict yet another defeat on their American counterparts, although a slim winning scoreline of 14 ½ to 13 ½ had the heart racing! Valderrama is the result of Robert Trent Jones Snr’s brilliant mind, having effectively sculpted a golf course to the highest possible standard.
In 2005, Valderrama was awarded the Number One Golf Course in Spain through Golf Digest, and the appeal of the historic venue has only heightened since then. Valderrama is the ultimate golf course, with six sets of tee markings to ensure an array of ability can enjoy the challenge found at this Spanish venue. The cross winds can genuinely cause havoc, and the mighty challenge that is found here is the biggest selling point. Although the location does not offer its own accommodation, there are multiple hotels located nearby.
The K Club
The K Club is one of the most successful venues for the European Ryder Cup team, who demolished their American competitors when the cup visited Ireland in 2006. Europe provided a resounding performance to win the event 18 ½ to 9 ½, which equalled their record winning margin that was produced only two years prior! The K Club is home to two prestigious golf courses, both of which designed by Arnold Palmer, so golfers will be spoiled for choice when booking at this impressive hub.
The Palmer North Course was selected for the Ryder Cup in 2006, but The Palmer South Course is not immune to important competition, having hosted the European Open from 1995 to 2007. In recent years, both courses have received an injection of investment, which has enhanced the quality even further. All rooms at The K Club are decorated in a luxurious manner, which emulates the quality of food on offer through a mixture of restaurants and bars.
When the Ryder Cup made its way to Wales, the European team were desperate to regain the cup from the Americans after their triumph in 2008. The fantastic competition was elevated through Celtic Manor playing host, which inspired the European team to win by a scoreline of 14 ½ to 13 ½ . The majority of passionate golfers will have at least heard of the iconic Celtic Manor, which is home to three golf courses that include the especially titled Twenty Ten Course, which was used to host the 2010 Ryder Cup.
The three golf courses to reside on-site are Twenty Ten, Montgomerie and Roman Road, with two outstanding clubhouses part of the premises too. The resort boasts more than 300 newly refurbished rooms that are prone to providing visitors with fantastic views of the surrounding area. Due to the size of the resort, there are seven restaurants dotted around that will undoubtedly appeal to the varied guests the resort welcomes annually.
The 40th Ryder Cup was of special importance, and those responsible for the scheduling could not have chosen a grander resort to play host! The 2014 Ryder Cup, which was played at Gleneagles, finished in favour of blue as Europe romped to a 16 ½ - 11 ½ winning scoreline that saw the team win eight of the last ten Ryder Cups. Of the three loops that reside at the resort, the PGA Centenary played host to the Ryder Cup before welcoming the Solheim Cup back in 2019.
The golf course in question was invented through the marvellous mind of Jack Nicklaus, but the King’s and Queen’s courses are considered as two of the greatest to be produced by the legendary James Braid - with the King’s dating back to 1919! When visiting the awe-inspiring Gleneagles, golfers can expect luxury to the highest possible standard, which is reflected in the varied room options and the delectable restaurants found on-site.
Le Golf National
Of all the recent Ryder Cups, it will take a lot for the 2018 edition to be beaten from a European perspective, which also successfully highlighted how fantastic Le Golf National is. Europe were comfortable winners during the cup’s first visit to France, beating America by a scoreline of 17 ½ to 10 ½ . Watching the relationship between Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari blossom was a real highlight for any European.
Le Golf National is home to two remarkable golf courses, but it was the Albatros Course that really shone during competition week. Already established as a front-runner throughout the entirety of Europe, its championship status was further elevated after the success of the Ryder Cup. Alternatively, golfers can experience the Aigle Course; although deemed inferior, its pristine condition and unique challenge is worthy of a round or two. There are no accommodation options located on-site, but several hotels nearby can act as the perfect base for a few days of exploring the brilliant Le Golf National.
As the European team headed to America in a bid to defend the Ryder Cup, none of them could be prepared for the onslaught that took place against them. A combination of Whistling Straits’ character and Steve Stricker’s elite mindset handed Europe an absolute beating, as the Americans were crowned champion through a 19-9 scoreline. This also acted as the largest winning scoreline since 1967, so it’s safe to assume the Ryder Cup may be revisiting in the future!
The venue also played host to the 2010 and 2015 PGA Championships and it is largely recognised as one of the world’s best championship golf courses on offer. The links layout is highly challenging and often unforgiving, so higher handicappers should be aware of its difficulty before planning a trip. The alternative layout is The Irish, where golfers will find the same quality and supreme upkeep as The Straits.
For the very first time in history, the Ryder Cup has visited Italy, where the fabulous Marco Simone will play host to the 44th edition of this historic competition. The layout was designed by Jim Fazio, who completed his vision during the 1980s. Marco Simone has played host to important competition during its rich history, having been selected for the Italian Open several times.
As you can imagine, the course is kept in a pristine condition and - especially off the tips - a real challenge is to be had at this Italian venue. Although there is a collection of holes that deserve special mention, the signature par three 2nd provides beautiful vistas of the surrounding area but be wary, this is a particularly challenging golf hole as your tee shot is struck to a green that is heavily protected.
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