Join the Team by Travelling to the Ryder Cup
Golf is thought of as the ultimate individual sport but one of the premier competitions, the Ryder Cup, sees a European team pit their wits against a team from America. The cup has a long history having started in 1927. Originally it was England and Ireland against America but Europeans were invited to the competition to even things up.
This year the veteran golfers Colin Montgomery and Corey Pavin will captain Europe and the USA respectively. After a short period of European dominance from 1995-2006 the Americans won the bi-annual competition last time around and so are the reigning champions. The 2008 winning captain Paul Azinger said that victory was very important for Americans who needed a distraction from their domestic troubles.
He said: “At the time gas was $4 a gallon in the US, we were in two wars and there was a presidential election which presented two completely different philosophies on how our country should be run.
“Yet I think Americans were able to shelve everything and watch the Ryder Cup. Sometimes you go to a great movie to get away from it all. I think the Ryder Cup was that great movie for a lot of people."
However, as the Ryder Cup takes place over three days it is more appropriate to liken it to an opera than a film. Like test cricket, one of the best things about the Ryder Cup is that fortunes fluctuate and it is very difficult to tell who will win right up until the end.
Americans had become used to winning the Ryder Cup and dominated the competition since the Second World War until the first European inaugural victory in 1985. On paper the USA should always win, having many of the world's top players including Tiger Woods, but the Ryder Cup is truly a team sport. Woods has been on the losing side in four of his last five Ryder Cups.
This year the battle will take place at Celtic Manor starting on Friday, October 1, until Sunday, October 3. Because of its wide scope the Ryder Cup has a large following both on television and at the event. If you want to see the Ryder Cup live then it is worth booking a rental vehicle in advance before they all get snapped up and the prices rise. Cardiff and Bristol airport car hire are available while the UK's two largest airports - London Heathrow and Gatwick- are also popular for visitors arriving from the USA.