Though not normally having a great interest in the game of golf I find myself absolutely glued to the television for a certain three-day event which occurs every two years.
Yes, I’m talking about the Ryder Cup golf competition, the latest of which took place in Paris between a team of European golfers and another representing the United States.
Originally contested between Great Britain and the United States, the first official Ryder Cup took place in the United States in 1927 at Worcester Country Club in Worcester, Massachusetts. The Ryder Cup is named after the English businessman Samuel Ryder who donated the trophy the teams compete for. An entrepreneur and golf enthusiast, Ryder had built a very successful business selling garden seeds in small packets which cost one penny.
The photo above shows Ryder and one of his daughters leaving to begin the journey to America for the 1927 competition.
Irish golfers have featured strongly over the years and Eire issued stamps in 2005 to commemorate Irish players who took part in Europe’s victory in 2002. Darren Clarke, Pádraig Harrington and Paul McGinley, are featured on a 48c stamp. McGinley’s now-famous 10ft putt on the Belfry’s 18th green secured the cup’s return to Europe. A second 48c stamp features Eamonn Darcy, Christy O’Connor Jnr and Philip Walton. Ronan Rafferty, Christy O’Connor Snr – who played in 10 consecutive Ryder Cup competitions – and the late Harry Bradshaw are shown on a 60c stamp. The 65c shows a photograph of the venue for the 2006 Ryder Cup – the K Club in Straffan, Co Kildare – and the club’s 18th hole, designed by Arnold Palmer, with the clubhouse in the background.
More Irish stamps released for the 2006 competition, the first Ryder matches played in Ireland.
The 1997 match between the continents was held in Valderrama, Spain and the Isle of Man produced the attractive stamp below in recognition.
Europe won a very close-fought match, with the late, great Seve Ballesteros captaining the winning team. Tragically, Seve died of brain cancer in 2011 aged 54. Spanish Post issued the stamp below in 2012 in commemoration.
While on the subject of golf I couldn’t resist attaching this stamp set from Great Britain (1994). It depicts scenes from five world-famous Scottish courses. The stamps feature The Old Course at St. Andrews, the 18th Hole at Muirfield, the 15th Hole (‘Luckyslap’)
at Carnoustie, the 8th Hole (The Postage Stamp) at Royal Troon and the 9th Hole at Turnberry.