The successful Commonwealth Games 2014 have come and gone, but one thing’s for sure, sports fans will still have all eyes glued on Scotland this month. The Ryder Cup 2014 is just around the corner as it comes to the home of golf, Scotland, on the 23rd of September. The Ryder Cup is one of the biggest sporting events in the world and this year it is going to be held in the 5 star golfing haven, Gleneagles, set in the heart of Perthshire in Scotland. This blog intends to give people a bit more of an insight into what the Ryder Cup is, how it came to be and some information on this year’s beautiful venue!
What is the Ryder Cup?
The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is cooperatively administered by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour and the venue of the Ryder Cup alternates between courses in the USA and Europe.
Not many people know this but the first ever recorded match between a team from the United States and Britain was set in Gleneagles in 1921 so some could say that the Ryder Cup is truly coming home this year.
The second tournament, which is where ‘The Ryder Cup’ came to be, was held at Wentworth USA in 1926. This tournament goes down in history as one of the most important as there was a particular man in the gallery called Samuel Ryder.
Samuel Ryder was an English entrepreneur from Hertfordshire who developed a love of golf in later life. He hired one of the golfing greats of his time, Abe Mitchell, to be his personal instructor. Ryder was fascinated by the match at Wentworth, and delighted to see Mitchell team up with George Duncan to defeat the defending Open Champion Jim Barnes and the great Walter Hagen.
Ryder contributed a small but beautiful gold cup that today epitomises all that is good in sporting competition. It cost £250 and the small golfing figure atop the cup, as requested by the donor, stands as a lasting memorial to Abe Mitchell. This is how the Ryder Cup was born!
The very first 22 Ryder Cup matches saw Great Britain & Ireland compete against the United States. The USA won 18, Great Britain & Ireland won 3 and one match in 1969 was a tie.
It wasn’t long before things changed and Great Britain & Ireland soon became Europe in 1979. Subsequently, in those years, Europe have won 8 tournaments, the United States 7 and one match was tied.
I was surprised to learn that not none of the golfers, no matter how famous, gets paid a single penny to take part. They take part out of pure competitiveness and total passion for the game and this is what makes the sporting event so great to watch.
The Venue: Gleneagles Hotel and Estate
This year’s event is being held at the stunning Gleneagles Estate in Perthshire. The Gleneagles Estate has recently celebrated their 90 year anniversary since its opening in 1924. This luxurious hotel and estate has been referred to as ‘a Riviera in the Highlands and ‘the eighth wonder of the world’.
The Ryder Cup 2014 event was announced way back in 2011 so there has been plenty of time for preparations for The Gleneagles Estate. No expense has been spared on preparing the course for the Ryder Cup to come to town. Many have been comparing it to the ‘BMW’ of golf courses which is no surprise as the Gleneagles Estate have even installed sub-air systems on all 18 greens to suck away excess water which will keep the putting surfaces dry and true (probably significant considering the unpredictable Scottish climate) which has come at a hefty expense.
If you haven’t managed to get tickets to the actual event at Gleneagles- don’t fret! On the 24th of September, there will be a Ryder Cup Gala Concert in the SSE Hydro in Glasgow and tickets are still available. Players from the Ryder Cup will be there as well as special performances from Jake Bugg, Amy McDonald and Texas to name a few.
Also, Timberbush Tours offer a fantastic Highland Whisky, Woodland & William Wallace tour where you can visit the Gleneagles Estate and get a fantastic photo where the golfing legends have played!
We’re feeling very excited for this event here at Timberbush Tours and as a wee gift we will be offering our customers some special offers on our social media pages and website so make sure you keep an eye out!