The Ryder Cup, one of the last great sporting events founded on prestige rather than prize money, spans 34 competitions over 77 years. The origin of the idea to stage international matches between the best American professionals and those of Great Britain is a subject of debate among golf historians. Past PGA President George Sargent (1921-26) of the Southeastern PGA Section credited Sylvanus P. Jermain, president of Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio, for first presenting the concept in 1921.
However, Bob Harlow, founder of Golf World and one-time manager of Walter Hagen, reported in 1951 that the Matches were first proposed in 1920 by James Harnett, a circulation representative for Golf Illustrated. Harnett had attempted to attract potential readers by raising funds to pay expenses for a professional match between the US and Great Britain. Harnett didn't get the support he needed until The PGA of America voted at its Annual Meeting on December 15, 1920, to advance Harnett some funds. The rivalry Harnett so eagerly attempted to develop eventually became The Ryder Cup.
The Ryder Cup matches are the highlight of the professional golfing calendar every two years for European and American golfers. This team competition between professional golfers on both sides of the Atlantic is played with an intensity that is legendary. The Ryder Cup is technically the name of the trophy awarded to the winning team of the Ryder Cup Matches. These days however if someone mentions the Ryder Cup, they are more likely to be referring to the biennial competition itself.
The competition dates back to 1920’s. The first official Ryder Cup was in 1927 when an English merchant named Samuel Ryder donated a gold cup (and his name) to the competition, prior to this there had been several “unofficial” matches in 1921 and again in 1926.
Regardless of who takes credit, the first informal matches were played in 1921 at Gleneagles, Scotland. Harnett, most likely with Hagen's assistance, selected the American Team. The Matches were played just before the 2,000 Guineas Match Play Championship, with the British soundly defeating the US Team, 9-3.
Another unofficial match occurred when the R & A decreed regional qualifying rounds before the 1926 Open Golf Championship, forcing overseas competitors to make their trans-Atlantic trek earlier. With extra time on their hands, the American contingent agreed to form a team for an unofficial match against the British professionals at Wentworth. This time, the Americans' defeat was worse - a 13 1/2 to 1 1/2 rout. English seed merchant and entrepreneur Samuel Ryder was a member of the appreciative gallery.
The initial US Ryder Cup Team was captained by Hagen, a charter Member of The PGA of America. Only American-born players were allowed to join the Team, according to a Selection Committee ruling, April 5, 1927, in Chicago. Joining Hagen on the Team were Leo Diegel, Johnny Farrell, Johnny Golden, Bill Mehlhorn, Gene Sarazen, Joe Turnesa and Al Watrous. Mike Brady and Al Espinosa were named alternates.
The British PGA Team was originally set with Mitchell as Captain, but he remained home due to appendicitis. Ted Ray took over the duties, and was joined on the team by Aubrey Boomer, Archie Compston, George Duncan, George Gadd, Arthur Havers, Herbert Jolly, Fred Robson and C.A. (Charles) Whitcombe.
The 1927 Ryder Cup was held in Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts where the USA beat Great Britain in a crushing victory 9-1/2 to 2-1/2. This original match format was comprised of four foursomes (alternate shot) matches on one day and eight singles matches on the other day, each of 36 holes.
There were no Ryder Cup Matches held between 1939 and 1945 due to World War Two and the Ryder cup was postponed in 2001 as a result of the 9-11 disaster.
And then changes are made in Ryder cup during 1961 to 1977 and final change was made is 1979 The GB team was expanded and became Team Europe.
1979The format was revised to provide fourball and foursomes matches the first two days and 12 singles matches on the third day. The total points awarded were 28.