Golf Trophies: 6 Interesting Facts About the Ryder Cup

17th Jul 2018

Famous Golf Trophies

Among golf trophies, no hardware is more hotly contested than the Ryder Cup. Every two years, top golfers from the United States take on Europe’s best stars to see which side of the Atlantic has the greatest men’s golfers. If you’re a pro golf fan, you know about the Ryder Cup games, but how much do you know about the actual trophy? Here are six interesting facts about the coveted cup that some fans may not know.

1. Basics of the Trophy

To understand what makes the Ryder Cup a prestigious golf award, let’s start with the basics. At 17 inches tall, this golden trophy weighs a hefty four pounds, making it a bigger prize than the famous FIFA World Cup. Pros have competed for the Ryder Cup since 1927, when seed seller Samuel Ryder launched the first challenge between the best golfers in America and the top players from Great Britain. The competition has since expanded to include players from other European nations.

2. Mystery of the Figurine

Atop the Ryder Cup is a gold statue of a golfer, getting ready for his swing. Exactly which real person this figurine represents is a bit of a mystery. Many fans have suggested it is Abe Mitchell, who was reported to be Ryder’s personal instructor, but others claim that the two men were merely friends. Since the figurine bears a resemblance to Mitchell, the speculation continues.

3. There’s Only One Original

Whichever side of the Atlantic the trophy honors, it stands out because there is only one Ryder Cup prize. The iconic award currently remains in Great Britain, under the care of the Professional Golfers' Association. Unlike other types of golf trophies, where the prize is given to the victors until the next competition, the sole Ryder Cup remains safely guarded.

4. Replicas are Awarded

While the irreplaceability of the Ryder Cup prevents it from making many public appearances, there is a full-size replica owned by the PGA of America. This identical cup is often used at promotional events. Replica trophies are also made for members of the winning squad every two years.

5. Which team has more wins?

Since the first swing at the 1927 Ryder Cup tournament, nearly 250 players have competed. During that span, the United States has won the match 26 out of 39 times. Who is the top player for America? That would be Billy Casper, who has captured the cup eight times as a player and once as team captain.

6. Cost of the Prize

When the Ryder Cup was created, it was among the most expensive golf trophies in the world. Samuel Ryder spent his own money to create the first trophy for 250 pounds ($400 in today’s market). If you factor in inflation, the Ryder Cup would cost about $5,600 today, but golfers will tell you that winning the award is truly priceless.

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