The biennial competition takes on huge significance in the world of golf. It’s the event that determines, for two years at least, the home of the best golfers. Will it be the powerhouse that is the United States of America, or will it be the collective countries of Europe? This is a debate that is raised up and down club houses all over the world, and it finally gets settled once again in September 2012 (28th to 30th) at the Medinah Country Club in Illinois.
To celebrate, we’ve created a guide for the 39th Ryder Cup. Showcasing everything you need to know about this year’s event, you’ll get to see the course, the best holes, the teams, as well a sneaky peak at who we think are this year’s favourites.
About the Course
Medinah Country Club boasts three magnificent golf courses, including the world famous course #3. This year’s Ryder Cup has been taken very seriously by the hosts, and rightly so as this is the first time the competition has ever been played in Illinois. They have commissioned a $1.5 million renovation, designed by the revered golf course architect Rees Jones. Now measuring at 7,657 yards off the new ‘gold tees’ this par 72 course is as beautiful as it is challenging.
What are the Best Holes?
Notable holes include the three waterfront par three holes on the 2nd, 13th and 17th. The 15th hole has had much attention given to it, as it received a dramatic redesign especially for the Ryder Cup. This par 4 hole has been reduced in length by 100 yards, but with the addition of a two-acre lake boarding the right hand side of both the fairway and the green. It’s believed this will offer the hole a greater ‘risk-reward’ meaning it’ll provide much entertainment during the cup.
How are the Teams Decided?
The way in which the teams are selected varies between competitors. The American team, captained by Davis Love III, decide their team based on the leading eight players on the Ryder Cup points list. In addition, the captain gets to pick four ‘wild card’ players. For the European team, captained by José María Olazábal, they get to choose five of the leading players on the Ryder Cup European points list, as well as five from the Ryder Cup World points list. In addition, Olazábal, gets two captain’s picks. Both captains get to name four vice-captains to help and assist during the tournament.
Past Ryder Cup Glories
The European team will be defending champions, as they beat the U.S.A during the 2010 competition at Celtic Manor Resort in Wales by a slender 14 ½ to 13 ½. Europe last won on American soil back in 2004, as the U.S.A team capitulated, losing 18½ to 9½ at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan. This was during a period when the American team lost three in a row. However, they stopped the decline during the 2008 Ryder Cup, held in Valhalla Golf Club, Kentucky when they compressively beat the European team 16½ to 11½. Heading into the 2012 Ryder Cup it really is up for grabs.
Ryder Cup Tips and Predictions
Whilst the European team have dominated in recent years, the American team do have strong individuals, and this year’s event is held on American soil, giving them a huge advantage on that front. At present (July 2012) neither team have been selected, but the American’s potentially have players such as Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickleson, and many more. Whilst there’s no doubting the American talent, the collective spirit of the European team has seemed stronger in the past. Who will win? Let us know your thoughts below.