With The 2014 Ryder Cup just three weeks away, and the teams now announced, it’s time to get up to scratch on your golf knowledge to ensure that you don’t make a fool of yourself while chatting at the watercooler!
As one of the world’s largest sporting events, all of the brilliant moments from The 2014 Ryder Cup will be broadcast to 183 countries worldwide via a network of 43 broadcasters reaching more than half a billion homes on each day of competition.
The tournament takes place at The Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire, and with Scotland being the Home of Golf, there’s no better place for golf’s most prestigious tournament to be held. Scotland has a long history with golf too, in fact it originated here more 600 years ago and today there are more than 550 courses in the country – meaning Scotland has one of the highest number of golf courses per head of population anywhere in the world with one course for every 9,000 people!
So whether you’re at the watercooler, the gym, the bus stop or having a drink in the pub here are some fast facts to remember so you know what you’re talking about!
- Musselburgh Links, is officially recognised as the oldest golf course in the world dating back to 1672. The most northerly golf course in the British Isles is situated on the small island of Whalsay, in the Shetland Islands.
- The Ryder Cup tournament is held every two years and contested by teams representing Europe and the United States, with the host venue alternating between the two. One of this year’s players is Scottish golfer Stephen Gallacher who was picked as one of Captain McGinley’s wildcards.
- Scotland has over 550 golf courses, 400 of which are within an hour of an airport.
- The Junior Ryder Cup sees the golf stars of the future take to the course at Blairgowrie Golf Club on 22-23 September and tickets are free! Rory McIlroy played for Team Europe’s winning Junior Ryder Cup team in 2004.
- Scotland offers a diverse range of courses from championship links venues to island ‘honesty box’ courses.
- There are three practice days during Ryder Cup week – Tuesday 23, Wednesday 24 and Thursday 25 Sept – where the teams play on the course together for the first time. It’s a chance to see the golf stars up close and personal, tickets are still available and start from £10. On Tuesday 23 Sept, the first of the practice days, visitors are encouraged to wear a piece of tartan to welcome the players to Scotland, this will be known as Tartan Tuesday!
- The word ‘golf’ may have come from the old Scots verb ‘to gowff’ meaning to strike hard.
- The host venue, The Gleneagles Hotel, is in Perthshire, which is within an hour of both Glasgow and Edinburgh. It’s known as ‘Big Tree Country’ due to the vast swathes of huge trees which include Europe’s oldest tree and the world’s highest hedge and it’s also a great location to find bluebell woods, for leaf peeping and to see wildlife such as roe deer, beavers, bats, red kites, red squirrels and mountain hares.
- The first official match took place 85 years ago, in 1927, in Worcester CC in Massachusetts in the United States. In 2014 it will be 41 years since Scotland hosted The Ryder Cup in 1973 at the Muirfield Links in Gullane, East Lothian.
- The Ryder Cup is a matchplay tournament lasting three full days. The winner of each match played during The Ryder Cup scores one point for their team, with ½ a point each for any match that is tied after 18 holes. 14 points are needed to retain The Ryder Cup. 14½ to win it.
- Six Scotland captains have served The Ryder Cup; George Duncan (1929), John Fallon (1963), Eric Brown (1969, 1971), Bernard Gallacher (1991, 1993, 1995), Sam Torrance (2002) and Colin Montgomerie (2010).
- A ‘birdie’ is a score of one under par on a hole, a ‘bogie’ is a score of one over par on a hole
- The tee is a small stand that the golf ball sits on before being struck by the player.
For more information on golfing holidays in Scotland go to www.visitscotland.com.
For further information and quirky stats please contact:
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Notes to Editors:
· Tickets are on sale for the Ryder Cup Gala Concert and start at £35. Buy online from www.ticketmaster.co.uk, or by calling 08444 999 990.
· Scotland is the Home of Golf and The Ryder Cup comes to Gleneagles in September. You can find more information on golf opportunities at www.visitscotland.com/golf.
· VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
This copy was correct at the time of going to press. VisitScotland cannot guarantee the accuracy ofthe information and accepts no responsibility for error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by the reliance on the information contained herewith, or in the event of any company, individual or firm ceasing to trade, is hereby excluded.