What is the Ryder Cup and How is it Played

What is the Ryder Cup and How is it Played?

The Ryder Cup is a spectacle on a world scale.  It is the golfing equivalent of the World Cup in Soccer.   While the format is obviously different; the tension and excitement that comes from having teams from around the world competing for a cup in one sport is similar.  Unlike the “Major” events in Golf such as The Masters, the US Open, the PGA Championship, or the Open Championship which are all competed on an individual basis.  The Ryder Cup is all about team golf.  Quite simply, it is Europe against the United States…  And who doesn’t want to beat the United States. 

How does the Ryder Cup work?  Striker Golf GPS was designed for groups and outings to play Ryder Cup Games and Formats on the mobile app and can be followed on a specially created Tournament Web Site ( more about that later )

How is the Ryder Cup played? 

The European and US teams have 12 players each chosen by a captain.  It’s up to the captain to decide who he wants to play in the 28 matches that are played over the three days of the competition.  Winning a match earns one point and whichever team reaches 14½ points first wins the Cup.

How do you win a match?

Strokeplay golf, like you see at The Open, is all about the number of shots. Whoever takes the fewest wins.  In contrast, the Ryder Cup is a matchplay format. The winner is determined by the number of points they win rather than the number of shots  that they take.  Each hole is worth one point;  If Phil Mickelson takes five shots and Rory McIlroy takes four, then Rory wins the hole and earns a point.  The score is plus one for Rory ; or generally referred to as Rory being one up.

But If Mickelson and Rory take the same number of shots, then they earn half a point each.  This is referred to as Mickelson and Rory being All Square.

So after 18 holes whoever has the most points wins the match and earns a point toward  their country’s total.

What kind of matches are there?

The most exciting thing about the Ryder Cup is that in addition to head to head individual matches, there are two 2 on 2 team matches call fourball and foursome matches.   Fourball is basically two on two best ball match play.  Whichever player takes the least shots, wins the hole for their team.  Foursomes ( alternating shots ) are even more exciting as both players share the same ball and take it in turns to hit it. 

Matchplay encourages more aggressive play as players are looking to win the hole outright. It’s all about beating your opponent.  If your opponent hits a bad shot, then you can play more safely.  But if they hit a good shot the pressure is on to try and match them.   In the fourballs each team has two players going for the hole. Players can afford to gamble as they look to take a winning advantage and make a birdie. In foursomes it’s very different, that’s when you need consistency. You need to keep the ball in play and avoid making mistakes.

The pressure in the Ryder Cup is different than the pressure felt by the players in the other Majors.  First, the Ryder Cup is a team event where the your play directly affects your teammates.  Second, the players are playing for the pride of their countries.  The United States team is obviously playing for the United States, but the European Countries are playing for the pride of Europe. 

Striker Golf GPS

Striker Golf GPS was specifically designed to accommodate tournaments and outings to play Ryder Cup Games.  The unique Live Scorecard will score both matchplay and strokeplay tournaments including Fourball ( 2 man best ball ) and Foursums ( 2 man alternate shot ) as well as standard individual match play.