As a member of The European Tour, it is a requirement to attend the Ryder Cup at least once during your career. Although this seems a simple task, many golfers find themselves struggling to fulfill this membership agreement. I can’t blame them for finding this obligation somewhat cumbersome when you look into all the factors that go into this decision.
The first question I would ask any golfer here is this: What are the requirements of my home tour regarding the Ryder Cup? The US PGA Tour clearly states that it prefers its members to play in all four majors, tieing the European tour’s idea.
What is Ryder Cup
The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is contested every two years with the venue alternating between courses in the US and Europe.
Europe currently holds a 9-7 advantage over Team USA, including wins in seven of the last nine events (2005–2013). The inaugural event was held in 1927 at Worcester Country Club, in Massachusetts, USA. The Ryder Cup is named after the English businessman Samuel Ryder who originally sponsored the event.
Regular members of the European Tour are not required to attend Team Europe practices, however; they are expected to participate fully if selected for play during the actual competition. These rules were relaxed somewhat beginning with the 2010 event at Celtic Manor Resort, in Wales.
How Much Do Ryder Cup Tickets Cost
I fought this battle last year. The prices of tickets can vary so much depending on where you sit and how early you purchase them, that the only way to avoid sticker shock is to understand how ticketing works for this event.
The majority of tickets are team issue with 250 tickets per squad (Team USA & Team Europe) allotted to each player. The players are free to distribute these tickets as they see fit but are expected to provide their home supporters with access if possible. This is where the battle begins for most players, even though they don’t mind it at all.
For this year’s event in Scotland, I purchased my ticket package through a European Tour partner site called Perfect Golf Vacations . Tickets for this event ranged from £115 to £397 each plus fees. This compiles to roughly $200-$550 per ticket. The thing with these online sites is that you can’t always get a seat in the area of your choosing, but if you make a point of contacting the site directly and provide them with a list of must-haves, they can work with you.
As for hospitality packages, figure roughly $500 to $1000 per day plus the price of your ticket/s. I’m not sure how much they run in 2014 because I chose not to do this but it is definitely an option.
Why You Should Attend The Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor, Wales
It goes without saying that I highly recommend any golfer who hasn’t been to a Ryder Cup to make plans to attend at least once in their career. I know it’s not always feasible and can be costly but if you have a friend or someone you may know that works for one of the companies/associations, ask them about a comped ticket. It’s how I went to Gleneagles and it was a very cool experience.
The next two years are going to be held in Europe so if you have aspirations of attending, there’s no time like the present. If you are unsure, I highly recommend that you watch some of the coverage from Gleneagles for an idea of why this is such a special event. They did things larger than life at Celtic Manor and you can be sure they will do it again in 2016.
What’s The Big Deal
Arnold Palmer once said that playing in the Ryder Cup is just another tournament, there are only three big tournaments (the majors) to play. I couldn’t agree more. The difference here lies in the amount of preparation and excitement leading up to the event itself. There’s no pressure on the players to win because every point counts; it would be like Tiger Woods teeing off on Sunday at the Masters with nothing to gain.
The biggest spectacle of all is what I like to call, “The 12th Hole” aka “Cups”. Watching the players go through their pre-shot routine, taking a few practice swings etc. is what the spectators came to see.