With memories still fresh following Europe’s last gasp victory in the 2010 Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor, we felt it only right that we look into some of the great courses in the UK & Ireland which have had the privilege of hosting golf’s premier team event.

We’re going to take you on a golfing journey with a brief review of the last four venues to host a Ryder Cup in the UK & Ireland. Some have been scenes of great triumph while others have been the scene of great disappointment but one attribute which they all share is the fantastic atmosphere which oozes out of this amazing event.

Walton HeathWalton Heath Golf Club, Surrey, England (1981)

Walton Heath was selected to become the venue of the 24th Ryder Cup matches for the 1981 event. As one of the premier golf clubs in the UK, this heathland layout was expected to provide the US team with a stern test on a type of course rarely seen outside of Surrey and Berkshire. The American Team made their way across the Atlantic boasting an impressive haul of Majors with no less than 36 victories between them, with such a strong pedigree this Ryder Cup would be a strict examination of European golf.

Despite great promise following the first days play with the European Team leading by 4.5 points to 3.5, this was to be quickly crushed by a dominant American Team which stormed to a record victory taking the coveted trophy 18.5 – 9.5.

Fancy following in the footsteps of Nicklaus, Watson, Trevino & Faldo? Well, you are in luck, Walton Heath do accept visitors during Monday – Friday (after 9.30 am) and Weekends (after 12.00  pm) with green fees starting from £115 per person

For more information on Walton Heath Golf Course click here.

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BelfryThe Belfry, Wishaw, West Midlands, England (1985, 1989, 1993 & 2002)

The Belfry and its flagship Brabazon Course has played host to no less than four Ryder Cups. The course has been designed with tournament golf in mind and with some of the most memorable matchplay holes in the 10th and 18th the Brabazon has been the setting for some memorable moments in Ryder Cup history. The Belfry has also been a very successful venue for Europe with victories recorded in 2 out of the 4 contests including clinching the cup in 1985 which was the first time Europe had enjoyed victory since 1957 at Lindrick Golf Club.

Golfers looking to step onto the perfectly manicured fairways of the Brabazon Course are in luck with this popular golf break venue. Accepting visitors year round, golfers can follow in the footsteps of O’Connor Jnr, Ballesteros & McGinley for just £134 including Dinner, Bed & Breakfast and Two Rounds of Golf.

For more information on The Belfry click here.

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K ClubThe K Club, Dublin, Ireland (2006)

The Samuel Ryder Trophy visited the Isle of Golf for the first time in 2006. Despite a rather damp affair this Ryder Cup had some fantastic moments. Firstly the result was rather stupendous from a European point of view with a total of 18.5 points claimed over the three day tournament resulting in a record equalling winning margin of 9 points. The winning margin was also complimented by some memorable golf, first in my mind was Paul Casey’s superb hole in 1 on the par-3 14th hole to claim a 5&4 victory, however the image so immediately associated with this Ryder Cup was an emotional Darren Clarke who claimed victory on the 16th hole of his singles match. With the crowd united in support and praise of this popular golfing figure who played despite losing his wife, Heather, shortly before the tournament ensured the celebrations of his achievement were echoed around the world.

The victory parade was equally unforgettable with the European Team taking their positions on the clubhouse balcony to enjoy a glass or two of the famous local stout with both Clarke and Team Captain Ian Woosnam leading from the front to the delight of the celebrating crowd.

The Palmer Ryder Cup Course at the K Club is best enjoyed as part of a golf break with fantastic discounted packages available including Bed & Breakfast and Two Rounds of Golf starting from £189 per person.

For more information on The K Club click here.

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fond du lac datingThe Celtic Manor Resort, South Wales, Wales (2010)

This five-star golf resort in South Wales has received tremendous support and investment by its owner Sir Terry Matthews to ensure the 2010 event was not only one of the best in terms of infrastructure, but also in terms of the golf course with a brand new effort constructed specifically for the tournament.

With Europe assembling a team with a number of form horses including two 2010 Major Champions (Martin Kaymer and Graeme McDowell) and a future World number 1 Lee Westwood, confidence was high amongst the European supporters. However as the rain began to fall the American Team was able to take an early initiative despite a wardrobe malfunction caused by some rather poor waterproofs.

As further rain delays caused a slight rejigging of the format, the European Team began to rally with 5.5 points to 0.5 points claimed during the 3rd session. However as per usual the final session’s singles matches were to keep spectators on the edge of their seats with swings back and forth between the European and American camps. Although there were many outstanding matches including Rickie Fowler’s superb half against Edoardo Molinari and Tiger Woods’ devastating golf in claiming victory over Francesco Molinari, it will be the final match which secured the winning point which will be remembered for years to come. With all eyes and approximately 25,000 spectators now on Graeme McDowell and Hunter Mahan’s match as they strode down the par-4 16thhole, the match was finely balanced with the pivotal point still very much up for grabs.

Following McDowell’s impressive approach to the 16th hole he was left with a tricky downhill putt to secure his birdie and victory on the hole to take him to dormy 2 up. To ensure a grandstand finish and also create the iconic image of the 2010 Ryder Cup, McDowell holed his putt much to the delight of the European supporters. The 2010 Ryder Cup was one of the closest in recent years and ensures the 2012 edition will be one of the most anticipated in recent years.

Golfers wanting to recreate McDowell’s winning efforts can do so as a resident of the Celtic Manor hotel with golf break packages including Bed & Breakfast and Two Rounds of Golf starting from £143 per person.

For more information on The Celtic Manor serious international dating site.

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