Ryder Cup Facts and Figures

By: Golfshake Editor | Mon 26 Sep 2016 | Comments

The Ryder Cup has such a rich and healthy history, regularly depicting some of the game's most important and memorable moments. Here are just a few of the facts and figures that have defined the biennial contest.
  • Contrary to popular belief, the figure depicted on the trophy is not Samuel Ryder - it is Abe Mitchell, his golf instructor
  • The  trophy is 17 inches tall, nine inches wide and weighs four pounds.
  • The first Ryder Cup match between Great Britain and Ireland and the USA was played in 1927
  • Between 1935 and 1979, GB&I only won the Ryder Cup once.
  • Because of the one-sided nature of the contest, Jack Nicklaus proposed that Great Britain and Ireland be expanded to include players from the rest of Europe. The first time this happened was in 1979.
  • Captain's picks were also first introduced in 1979
  • Nick Faldo holds the record for most match wins with 23 victories
  • Faldo is also the record points holder with 25.  Faldo competed in 11 Ryder Cups with a record of 23-19-4. Faldo also captained the 2008 European team, but came out on the losing end of those matches.
  • There have been six holes-in ones in the history of the Ryder Cup, just one of these was by an American
  • The youngest player to play in the Ryder Cup was Sergio Garcia in 1999; he made his debut at the age of 19
  •  In 1993 at the age of 51, Raymond Floyd became the oldest American player to qualify for a Ryder Cup.
  • With 11 Ryder Cup competitions under his belt, Nick Faldo has appeared in more than any other golfer
  • The contest has ended in a draw twice - in 1969 and in 1989
  • Before play begins, each captain puts one name into a sealed envelope and if there is an injury on the opposing team, the player inside that envelope sits out the singles. It has happened three times - in 1979, 1991 and 1993
  • Captains used to do more than pick the pairings and watch the golf – they played in the match. The last playing captain for GB&I was Dai Rees in 1961, and the last for the USA was Arnold Palmer in 1963
  • Europe won for the first time in 1985 - since then they have won a further nine times, halved once and lost just three times.


The Ryder Cup is unlike any other tournament in golf and the atmosphere is something that every golf fan should experience. The experts at Golfbreaks.com can help with all aspects of your Ryder Cup experience, from accommodation and ticket packages to hospitality and travel and playing some of the fantastic nearby courses.

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