5 Ryder Cup Courses You Can Play

The Ryder Cup only comes around every two years. It's difficult to wait for all of the drama, patriotic fervor, tension and excitement that engulfs this phenomenal event. An engaging way to spend the interval time is by playing Ryder Cup courses that are accessible to the public.

Here are five great Ryder Cup courses you can play:

2010 Course at Celtic Manor Resort (Newport, Wales, United Kingdom)-- The Twenty Ten course, which opened in 2007, was the first course specifically designed for the Ryder Cup Matches (2010 Ryder Cup). It features nine holes on the floor of the Usk Valley and several holes on the back nine with elevation changes. There are water hazards on nine holes and lots of risk and reward choices. Corey Pavin was the U.S.A. captain and Colin Montgomerie captained the Europe team. Final Score: Europe 14 1/2  U.S.A.-13 1/2
 
Champion Course at PGA National Resort (Palm Beach Gardens, Florida)--Site of the 1983 Ryder Cup, the Jack Nicklaus designed Champion Course opened in 1981. Through the years, the Golden Bear has tweaked the design somewhat. The course, home to the PGA Tour's Honda Classic, demands a great short game. Many of the greens are wildly undulating and surrounded by all sorts of trouble, from deep bunkers to mounds and dark lagoons. The Champion's fifteenth through seventeenth holes, which are dubbed "The Bear Trap," comprise one of the toughest stretches of finishing holes anywhere. Jack Nicklaus was the U.S.A. captain and Tony Jacklin captained the Europe team. Final Score: U.S.A. 14 1/2  Europe 13 1/2

Ocean Course at Kiawah Island (Charleston,South Carolina)--Known as "The War by the Shore", the 1991 Ryder Cup matches were contested on this marvelous Pete Dye designed seaside layout. A target golf experience, the Ocean Course has 10 holes alongside the Atlantic Ocean and 8 others parallel to those. The course never allows you to take a mental break as every hole demands a concise strategy to score well. Dave Stockton was the U.S.A. captain and Bernard Gallacher captained the Europe team. Final Score: U.S.A. 14 1/2  Europe 13 1/2

Royal Birkdale (Southport, United Kingdom)-One of British Isles most celebrated courses, this gem, set amid phenomenal sand dunes, has hosted two Ryder Cups (1965, 1969) and eight Open Championships. The fairways are laid out in flat bottom valleys between the dunes. One of the reasons Royal Birkdale is so popular as a tournament event site is spectators are afforded great views of the action when standing atop the sand dunes. In 1965, Byron Nelson was the U.S.A. captain and Harry Weetman captained the Great Britain team. Final Score: U.S.A.  19 1/2     Great Britain  12 1/2  In 1969, Sam Snead was the U.S.A. captain and Eric Brown captained the Great Britain team. The matches ended in a draw.
 
PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles Resort (Auchterarder, Perthshire, Scotland)--Set in the heart of Scotland at this classic, traditional resort, this Jack Nicklaus design hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup matches. Spectacular countryside, hill and mountain views in the distance and superb playing conditions highlight the play experience. At times wildly undulating, the course has American and Scottish touches making it a distinctive test of golf skills. Tom Watson was the U.S. A. captain and Paul McGinley captained the Europe team. Final Score: Europe 16 1/2  U.S.A. 11 1/2

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