A lucky golf enthusiast has won a trip to the 2012 Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club after scooping first prize in an exclusive competition for De Vere Club members.

Jonathan Barber’s once-in-a-lifetime Ryder Cup experience will include flights, accommodation, transfers and tickets to each day of the competition.

Barber, a 16-handicapper from Newcastle, joined the De Vere Club – a pioneering golf and leisure membership scheme – in June last year, and has been actively involved in both the golf and leisure aspects of the membership since then.

Golfers pay a one-off fee of £295 and receive points in return, which can be exchanged for rounds of golf at any one of De Vere’s 16 courses – including The Belfry and Slaley Hall – spa treatments, leisure club usage and more.

Barber will be accompanied by partner Jasmine in Chicago next month, as the couple take in the biggest event in golf and one of sport’s greatest rivalries.

“I can’t believe it. This is by far the best prize I’ve ever won in my life. I’ve always wanted to go to the Ryder Cup and to go in the States is beyond my wildest dreams,” said an overwhelmed Barber.

“Winning completely sums up the great experiences I’ve had since joining the De Vere Club last year.

“I’m looking forward to cheering on the European lads in September and would like to extend my thanks to De Vere for making it all possible.”

The De Vere Club – opened by Honorary Captain Peter Alliss in March 2010 – has been championed for its flexibility and affordability, and received backing from sporting personalities such as Andrew Flintoff and Harry Redknapp.