The History of the Ryder Cup

In just 7 months, the Ryder Cup 2018 will begin, hosted at Le Golf National, Paris, France. Held once every two years, the competition is one of the most anticipated events in the international golfing calendar. As we move closer to the big event, we’ve had a look back at the history of the Ryder Cup.

Here’s what you need to know:

How did the Ryder Cup Start?

Although it is often stated that the Ryder Cup began in 1921, the Ryder Cup officially started in 1927.

Two unofficial matches were played between golf professional from Great Britain and the United States, with the first occurring at Gleneagles Golf Club, Scotland in 1921, and the second hosted by Wentworth Golf Club, England.

An English seed merchant called Samuel Ryder watched the second match and having recently taken up golf, was delighted by the event. Ryder was so moved by the competition that he donated a small gold cup, with a small golfing figure at the top as a lasting memorial to a popular golfer, and Ryder’s personal tutor, Abe Mitchell. This cup is still used as the Ryder Cup trophy.

Europe in the Ryder Cup

The United States of America played the first 22 Ryder Cup matches against Great Britain and Ireland. It wasn’t until 1979 that players from continental Europe were eligible to play in the Ryder Cup.

By the 1970’s, The European Tour had become more diverse, and players from all nationalities, and in particular, the continent, were playing. However, it wasn’t until 1977, during the Ryder Cup at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, England, that the golf legend Jack Nicklaus highlighted the need to improve the competitive level of the contest.  The U.S.A had won all but one Ryder Cup from 1959 to 1977, with the only exception being the iconic match in 1969 at Royal Birkdale in Southport, England. By allowing players from continental Europe to play, a greater pool of talent could be drawn on.

Past Ryder Cup Winners & Captains

Until players from continental Europe were eligible to play in the Ryder Cup, the USA dominated the competition, winning 18 of the first 22 matches, with Great Britain and Ireland winning three and the famous tie of the 1969 contest.

However, once the competition became a match between USA and Europe, the Ryder Cup transformed into a competitive display of sportsmanship, drama, camaraderie and of course, excellent golf.

Whilst there are have been many memorable moments in the last 41 Ryder Cup matches, we’ve shared some of our favourite stats:

  • Captained by Bernard Langer, Europe achieved the largest margin of victory in 2004 at Oakland Hills, Michigan and again in 2006 at Straffan, Ireland.
  • Sir Nick Faldo holds the record for the most Ryder Cup Appearances, taking part in 11 competitions and 46 matches between 1977 and 1997. He also holds the record for the most matches won, achieving a total of 23.
  • Although Sir Nick Faldo holds the record for the most points won, Neil Coles and Colin Montgomerie jointly hold the most single points won, beating Faldo by ½ point. Interestingly, Faldo is also ½ behind Bernhard Langer for the Most Foursome Points Won, achieving 11 points and 11 ½ points respectively.
  • Ironically, the USA has won all the points in a Foursomes series 4 times. Both the USA and Europe have won all the points in a Four-Ball series twice, but no team has ever won all the singles matches.

Past Ryder Cup Venues

Thanks to its long history, there are plenty of past Ryder Cup venues that you can play on yourself! Here are just a few of our favourites:


Host to the 2014 Ryder Cup, Gleneagles Resort offers three outstanding championship golf courses. Accessible via transfer from Edinburgh Airport, the resort is located in Perthshire, Scotland, and combines spectacular scenery with world-class golf.

Real Club Valderrama

Considered to be the best golf course in Spain, Real Club Valderrama is located on the famous Costa del Sol and hosted the 1997 Ryder Cup. Easily accessed by a transfer from Gibraltar Airport, Malaga Airport or Jerez Airport, the course is consistently ranked one of the best in the world.

Royal Birkdale Golf Club

Located in the coastal resort of Southport, the Royal Birkdale Golf Club has hosted more Championship and International events since World War 2 than any other course in the world. Regularly ranked amongst the top 35 golf clubs in the world, the course hosted the 1965 and 1969 Ryder Cups.

Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club

Host to the 1961 and 1997 Ryder Cup and eleven Open Championships, the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club is easily accessed by a transfer from Manchester Airport or Liverpool Airport. A well-established golf club in North West England, Royal Lytham offers a premier links course in an authentic setting.

Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club

Easily accessed by transfer from Manchester Airport and Liverpool Airport, Southport and Ainsdale Golf Club hosted the 1933 and 1937 Ryder Cups. Located in North West England, the club offers an exceptional championship course and first-class golf facilities.

The Belfry Hotel & Resort

Located close to Birmingham Airport, the Belfy course has hosted more Ryder Cup matches than any other venue in the world. Host to the 1985, 1989, 1993 and 2002 tournaments, the resort offers three stunning courses routed through North Warwickshire countryside.

The K Club

Just 17 miles west of Dublin and Dublin Airport, the K Club has a spectacular international reputation. Host to the 2006 Ryder Cup, the 216 Dubai Free Irish Open and 13 European Opens, the club offers two exceptional courses designed by the iconic Arnold Palmer.

We hope this guide to the history of the Ryder Cup has prepared you for the 42nd Ryder Cup at Le National, Paris, France. Whether you are attending this year’s Ryder Cup or want to play in the footsteps of golfing legends at past Ryder Cup venues, Golf-Drives can provide hassle-free transport. Offering transfers from the airport to the hotel, hotel to the course and back again, Golf-Drives can take of all your golf holiday transfers.

A Golfers Guide to A Golf Holiday in Italy

Perfect climate, spectacular landscapes and delicious food; Italy is the perfect destination for a European golf holiday. Between the glistening lakes and rugged coastlines, Italy is home to some spectacular top-quality golf courses. However, as the country varies so dramatically it can be hard to know where to visit on your golf holiday. We’ve shared our favourite regions to help you decide where to go on your Italian golfing holiday.

Golf Holidays in Turin

The capital city of Piedmont in northern Italy, Turin is renowned for its beautiful architecture and delicious cuisine. Partially surrounded by the Alps, golf courses benefit from the breath-taking natural beauty of the area. If you are looking for courses with countless elevation changes, Golf Club Biella and Golf Club Des Iles Borromes are perfect options. Whilst Golf Club Biella is located on the slopes of the Serra moraine, Golf Club Des Iles Borromes offers dramatic views of the Swiss Alps, the Ticino Plain, Milan skyline and a handful of Italian lakes.

Golf Holidays in Milan

The second most populous city in Italy, Milan is the capital of Lombardy and is known as a global leader in design and fashion. Located in the northwestern section of the Po Valley, the city is situated between the Alps and the river Po. Close to the great lakes, the golf courses located in the area are some of the most picturesque in the country. Set within a parkland estate close to Lake Garda, Golf Club Arzaga features a Jack Nicklaus II design, whilst Royal Park I Roveri Golf Club is located in a former royal hunting reserve.

Golf Holiday in Sicily

An autonomous region of Italy, Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Served by Catania Airport, Sicily is separated from the mainland by the Strait of Messina, the terrain is mostly hilly, giving rise to some incredible golf courses. Located on the slopes of Mount Etna, Il Picciolo has hosted five open championships including the Sicilian Ladies Italian Open, whilst Verdura Golf & Spa Resort has been named as an official European Tour Destination.

Golf Holidays in Rome

One of the most famous cities in the world, Rome’s history spans 28 centuries. In light of this, the areas golf clubs incorporate the regions historical past and offers a unique experience for visitors. Whilst Castelgandolfo Golf & Country Club is situated in the remains of an ancient volcanic crater, Circolo del Golf di Roma Aquasanta has views of the Via Appia Antica Roman aqueduct arches and the ancient tomb of Cecilia Metella.

Golf Holidays in Sardinia

Located to the south of Corsica, Sardinia is served by Cagliari Airport and is another autonomous region of Italy. Featuring a rocky coastline and incredible mountain ranges, the island’s geography provides the perfect backdrop for exclusive golf resorts.  Located in the Costa Smeralda region, Pevero Golf Club offers glimpses of Corsica on a clear day, whilst Is Molas Golf Resort has hosted an impressive four Italian Opens.

Golf Holidays from Venice Airport

Served by both Venice Marco Polo Airport and Venice Treviso Airport, Venice is a fabulous location for a golf holiday. The capital of the Veneto region, this northeastern Italian city is made up of 118 small islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges. Although you might not automatically associate Venice with a golf holiday, it is home to some of the most prestigious clubs in the country such as Golf Club Udine. One must visit is Circolo Golf Venezia which opened in 1930 and is the oldest club in the region.

We hope this has helped you decide which Italian region to visit and enjoy a golf holiday.

Golf-Drives offers transfers from the airports in all of these destinations, and can take you from the airport to hotel, hotel to the course and back again! Get a quick, hassle-free quote now!

Your Ultimate Guide to Golfing on the Canary Islands

Offering spectacular golf all-year round, the Canary Islands, Spain are perfect for golf holidays. Located off the coast of Morocco, the islands enjoy the sun all year round, with an average temperature of 19 degrees Celsius in winter and 23 degrees Celsius in summer. An autonomous archipelago of 7 islands, the best golf courses in the Canary Islands can be found on Gran Canaria and Tenerife.

To help give you some inspiration for your next golf holiday, we’ve chosen our favourite golf clubs in Gran Canaria and Tenerife that you can play at all year round.

Gran Canaria Golf Courses

With an incredible volcanic landscape featuring 60km of beaches and a Biosphere Reserve, Gran Canaria is a spectacular destination for golf holidays. Easily accessed via a transfer from Gran Canaria airport, the majority of golf clubs in Gran Canaria are located on the east side of the island, centred around the popular towns of Telde and Maspalomas.

Just 25km to the north of Gran Canaria Airport, Real Club de Golf de Las Palmas is a must-visit when visiting the island. Known as Spain’s oldest golf club, it has a unique backdrop and is situated next to Caldera de Bandama volcanic crater. Featuring narrow fairways, deep ravines and small greens, the course offers fantastic panoramic views of the northwest coastline. El Cortijo Club de Campo also makes use of the breath-taking landscape and is routed through a series of valleys surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. A challenging and technical course, it has hosted numerous tournaments including the Canarias Open de Espana 2002 which saw Sergio Garcia claim victory.

Located close to Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria towards the south of Gran Canaria, Anfi Tauro is another fantastic golf club. Consistently ranked as one the best golf courses in Europe, the 18-hole championship golf course is arranged in American-style layout and includes various water hazards such as lakes and waterfalls. Further down the coast, close to the popular resort of Playa del Ingles, Maspalomas offers a beautiful, natural course. Parallel to the Maspalomas Dunes Nature Reserve, the course features long broad fairways on a flat terrain with the constant threat of the sea breeze. Additional variety is provided by Salobre Golf which is the only golf club in the Canary Islands to boast a 36-hole layout. Although the ‘New’ course has been developed to an exceptional standard, it is the ‘Old’ course that is the most popular. Previously host to important championships such as the 2006 Spanish PGA, the course has developed an international reputation and is not to be missed during your golf holiday in Gran Canaria.

Tenerife Golf Courses

Featuring some of the most dramatic scenery in Europe, Tenerife is a great location for a golf holiday in the Canary Islands. Home to Mount Teide, the third highest volcano in the world, Tenerife boasts 8 golf courses, with the majority being located in the west and easily accessed via a transfer from Tenerife South Airport.

Situated away from the popular tourist resort in the northwest of the island, Buenavista Golf has a more remote location than the other golf clubs in Tenerife. However, despite the additional transfer time, this Seve Ballesteros-designed course is worth the effort. Nestled on a cliff top overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, Buenavista Golf provides golfers incredible views as they move around the course. Suitable for players of all abilities, the course offers exceptional holiday golf. Another course that boasts amazing ocean views is Abama Golf. One of Spain’s most exclusive golf clubs, it’s palm tree-lined fairways provide a constant challenge. Featuring 22 lakes, waterfalls and white sand bunkers, this course located on the west face of Mount Teide provides a memorable experience. Golf Costa Adeje also boasts exceptional surroundings and has been designed by integrating the natural features of the area into the course.

Offering impressive golf facilities in an extremely convenient location, Golf Las Americas is a natural choice when visiting Tenerife on a Golf Hotel. Located in the main tourist area of Las Americas, the course is laid out in two returning loops of nine holes with the coastal location providing subtle elevation changes. Another fantastic golf club that is easily accessible via transfer is Golf del Sur. Located in the south of Tenerife, the course is arranged in three loops of nine holes, allowing golfers to choose from 3 different 18-hole combinations. Expertly maintained, Golf del Sur’s lush fairways and black volcanic sand bunkers will help great a memorable golf holiday in Tenerife.

We hope our favourite golf courses in the Canary Islands have given you plenty of inspiration for your next golf holiday.

If you’re planning a golf holiday in the Canary Islands, Golf-Drives provide hassle-free transfers for your entire holiday. Transporting you from Gran Canaria Airport and Tenerife South Airport to your hotel, from your hotel to the golf course, and back again, Golf-Drives can deal with all your transport.

10 Most Unique Golf Courses in the World

When you’re heading off on a golf holiday, it’s understandable that you might want to experience something a little different. These unique golf courses will give you memories that last a lifetime. 

For a little inspiration on your next golf holiday, we’ve put together a list of the most unique golf courses in the world. You’ll definitely want to say you’ve played at least one of these courses in your lifetime.

Get an instant quote and book online today

10. Ile Aux Cerfs Golf – Mauritius

If you like to escape from the hustle of modern life, this is the course for you. Part of Shangri-La’s Le Touessrok Resort and Spa in Mauritius, Ile Aux Cerfs Golf course is one of the world’s finest and most unique golf courses. Designed by Bernhard Langer, the tranquil course is located on its own beautiful island off the east coast of Mauritius, separated from the mainland by a glistening lagoon. It’s pretty impressive. 

9. Coeur d’Alene Golf Resort – USA

We’re unable to compare this course with any other because there’s nothing quite like the Coeur d’Alene Golf Resort. Located in Idaho, USA, the course is designed by Scott Miller and features one of the most well-known holes in golf, ‘The Floating Green’. Computer-controlled to a different distance from the tee each day, the ‘Floating Green’ is a bucket-list hole. Golfers can take a maximum of two attempts to land safely on the island before taking a drop on the green. Once attempted, board the ‘Putter’ boat that ferries players to the green and back.

Can’t travel to Coeur d’Alene? Try visiting Le Golf National during a golf holiday to France. Host to the 2018 Ryder Cup, the course features a strip of turf connecting the 18th to the 15th, creating one of the most difficult island greens.

8. Nullarbor Links Golf Course – Australia

If you’re looking to impress, try out the world’s longest golf course. Thought to be about 850 miles long, the average time it takes to complete Nullarbor Links is 4 days, with each hole being a 30-mile drive apart. Crossing two time-zones, it takes dedication to complete a round of golf at Nullarbor Links Golf Course.

7. El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Club – Mexico

Host to the first PGA Tour event to be contested outside the USA and Canada, El Camaleon Mayakoba is a golfing paradise. A natural beauty, the course offers the ultimate variety as it has a mixture of three diverse ecosystems: the tropical Mayan jungle, mangrove wetlands and Mexican Caribbean Sea coastline. Including hazards such as cenotes (sinkholes), extensive bunkers and freshwater canals, the course is like nothing you will have experienced before – and we love it!

6. Skukuza Golf Course – South Africa

Located in the famous Kruger National Park, the Skukuza Golf Course is in a rich wildlife sanctuary including the Big Five, a huge variety of birds and countless animals. With no fence to separate the golf course, animals such as hippos, impala, warthog and baboons are free to roam onto the course. It’s a course like no other that offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

5. Himalayan Golf Club – Nepal

Located 7km away from Pokhara, the Himalayan Golf Club is one of only two 18-hole golf courses in Nepal. Situated in a canyon created by the Himalayan snowed waters of the Bijayapur river, the course offers a spectacular view of the Fishtail and Annapurna mountain range. Featuring roaming buffalo and a natural island hole, this course takes adventure golf to the extreme.

Want to experience mountain views a little closer to home? A golf holiday in the southeastern regions of France might be for you, with golf clubs such as Golf International de Grenoble Bresson and Golf and Country Club de Bossey having incredible backdrops.

4. Merapi Golf Course – Indonesia

Sitting 800 metres above sea level, Merapi Golf Course offers a unique landscape for golf. Located 30 minutes away from the ancient city of Yogyakarta, this course sits at the base of Mount Merapi, an active volcano. Smoke is seen emerging from the volcano over 300 days per year and eruptions take place every two to three years, making any round high risk.

Don’t want to risk it? Try a golf holiday to Sicily, Italy, and play at the foot of Mount Etna at Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort & Spa.

3. Prison View Golf Club – USA

Once known as the ‘bloodiest prison in America’, the Louisiana State Penitentiary isn’t the first place you think of when thinking of golf course destinations. Prison View Golf Course is in Angola and offers players a challenging round of golf whilst being on the grounds of the prison. To play her a background check is necessary and play may be suspended at any time due to institutional need or at the warden’s discretion. Don’t forget to check out our USA golf transfers to get you there.

2. Uummannaq Greenland Golf – Greenland

500 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Uummannaq Greenland Golf wins the award for the coldest round of golf. Host to the World Ice Golf Championship, golfers from around the world come to play on this unique golf course. Although hazards are said to include seal dens and crevasses, the biggest threat is frostbite, which players are taught how to spot before they tee off.

1. Legend Golf & Safari Resort – South Africa

Located in Limpopo Province in South Africa, Legend Golf & Safari is one of the world’s top luxury destinations. Apart from being in the middle of a wildlife preserve, the course is known as the unique ‘world-in-one’ Signature Course where each of the 18-holes is designed by a different golfing legend. In addition to this, golfers have the chance to attempt the iconic par-3, the ‘Extreme 19th’. Only accessible by helicopter, the tee shot is 400m above ground on Hanglip Mountain. Aiming for a green shaped like the African continent, there’s 1,200 feet drop to the hole.

Hassle-free transfers for your unique golf holiday

Wherever you decide to visit for your golf holiday, book your transfer with Golf Drives. We offer a unique service, offering transport from the airport to the hotel, hotel to course, and back again! With each trip including one golf bag per person, it’s a hassle-free way of travelling on your golf holiday. Get a free quote online and book your transfer instantly. It’s that simple. 

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