In 1926, wealthy seed merchant Samuel Ryder agreed to provide a trophy for the best of teams from two countries. What he started is a unique competition that, for the last seventy years, has regularly raised golf tempers to the boiling point on both sides of the Atlantic.
It all started amicably enough, but the sense of shock in British clubhouses was palpable when, in 1927, the United States took the first contest by a humiliating margin of 9½-2½. The 1933 contest, hosted that year by Britain, saw patriotic fans overrunning the fairways, setting a tone of hostility, blame, and mutual animosity—with touches of grand displays of sportsmanship—that would last for more than half a century.
With the American PGA Tour now producing a steady supply of hardened professional competitors, and with new European players making an increasing impact on the golfing scene, it was decided in 1977 that the Cup would become a “Europe versus America” affair.
The Ryder Cup is a thorough history of this fascinating tournament and a well-written chronicle of its attendant glory, drama, and controversy.