Golf Pictures: Ryder Cup


Few sporting events reach across the world in the same way that the Ryder Cup does, bringing together communities and nations for the glory and title of being the winning team. Few sporting photos are as iconic as the golf pictures of the Ryder Cup.

Golf pictures depicting the grandeur and history of the Ryder Cup are a peek into international history and camaraderie. In the world of golf, the Ryder cup was a innovative and beautiful response to a need to bring people from across the world closer together. In honor of this years event, We’ve compiled a history of the Ryder Cup as told through golf pictures courtesy of

On September 27, 1920 a novel idea was proposed to the British Open. James D. Harnett wrote a letter to the PGA of America, suggesting that, for the first time ever, an American team be allowed to compete in the British Open. The PGA of America responded very favorably to this idea and plans were underway to send a team of 12 American golfers to attend a warm up tournament at Gleneagles. This inaugural match was won by Great Britain. Even so, it was the Americans who, for the first time, won the British Open. By this time the idea had taken hold and Americans and Britains decided to play a four on four stroke competition before participating in the Open Championship. This underwent much needed adjustments and a trophy was donated by Samuel Ryder, thus creating the “Ryder Cup”. However, amongst much with political problems in America, Samuel Ryder decided to withhold the cup until the following year. In 1927,
the competition was organized into a much more formal arrangement. Rules were drawn up and agreed upon, and money was raised to fund the tournament.

As a means to make the matches more competitive, players from continental Europe were included in the match in 1979. Some attribute this change directly to the world of golf and golf pictures focusing their eyes and lenses on Spain's Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer. 

1989 marked an incredibly iconic Ryder cup that was held at the Belfry in England. Tensions were high after, the United States having held the Cup for two decades, lost both the 1985 and 1987 matches. The European team and the US team were so at odds, that competitors Seve Ballestros and Paul Azinger begin to form a heated feud. Frustrations reached their peak as the match ended in a tie, with the European team retaining the cup. The following Ryder Cup, held in 1991 at the Kiawah Island Golf resort, did not see tempers improved. At the ceremonial commencement dinner, two videos were prepared as a welcoming address and highlight reel from previous Ryder Cup tournaments, but were not received well by the European team. Reports surfaced that the videos were very American centric and did not appropriately address other teams. In the opening match Azinger and Ballesteros were set against each other in a foursome match. Azinger and his partner Chip Beck accused Ballesteros of gamesmanship on account of supposedly inappropriate throat clearing during shots. Azinger and Beck repo
rtedly switched their balls, which in direct violation of the “one ball rule”. Ballesteros called the the American team on this violation too long after it had occurred, so no penalty was called, but the intensity of the following rounds created what many consider one of the best pairs matches in history. They Spaniards took the win 2 & 1 which Ballesteros concluded by saying “The American team has 11 nice guys and Paul Azinger.”

In 1999 golf pictures captured the “Battle of Brookline” held at the Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. The American team was able to secure the first American victory since 1993. American Justin Leonard was left with a 45-foot putt for birdie. Leonard holed the incredible putt and wild celebration ensued. This celebration was unheard of as the difficult putt did not seal the match. Jose Maria Olazabal was left with a 22 foot putt which he missed, owing to the wild celebration, and the American team cheered again. This sort of behavior, while not illegal, was unprecedented and many European players believed that many of the unwritten rules of conduct were blatantly ignored. Following months of contention and growing nationalism, many of the American players apologized for their behavior and both teams made numerous attempts to calm the adversity. Many matches to follow were evident of these efforts as subsequent Cups were played in the spirit of the game.

As the Ryder Cup continued to see triumphs and failures, many of the future tournaments were much more good natured. Fans still pour from all over the world to celebrate their teams efforts and the nobility of the game. In 2012, Europeans saw an extraordinary come back with key players making names for themselves and their countries. As the 2018 Ryder Cup draws closer we’re excited to see just what each country brings to the table this year, and of course, what extraordinary moments are captured in golf pictures.

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