How Are Ryder Cup Courses Chosen?

The Ryder Cup alternates venues between the United States and Europe, so we take a look at how the courses are chosen

How are Ryder Cup venues chosen
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Ryder Cup alternates venues between the United States and Europe, so we take a look at how the courses are chosen

How Are Ryder Cup Courses Chosen?

The Ryder Cup is jointly administered by the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe, with each organisation taking it in turns to pick host venues of the tournament.

Ryder Cup Europe is majority owned by the PGA European Tour with a 60 per cent share, while the PGA of Great Britain & Ireland and the PGAs of Europe both own 20 per cent each.

In Europe, potential host countries have to formally express an interest in bidding for the Ryder Cup multiple years in advance, with the expressions coming from either a central government or a national golf governing body.

Formal bids are then submitted, with the venue each country plans to use as the host of the Ryder Cup finalised too.

Bidders have to agree to contractual conditions of Ryder Cup Europe, before it is decided who will host the tournament for the prospective date.

There are five factors that organisers consider when choosing a Ryder Cup host venue, including: if the venue is a world-class golf facility; if the venue has requisite infrastructure suitable for staging an international event; if the host country has a demonstrable government, golfing community and private sector support; what commercial opportunities are available; and the contribution of the bid country to the development of golf.

Each venue's surrounding aesthetics, spectator viewing opportunities, the course condition, and the substructure is also considered when determining the host.

Ryder Cup Europe also state: "The parties agree that the venue for the Ryder Cup matches played in Europe shall be proposed by the Managing Partner (European Tour) in consultation with the other Members.

"The Managing Partner agrees to act in good faith and in the interests of Ryder Cup Europe when determining each venue for the Ryder Cup matches."

Ryder Cup Europe have also now carried out a consultation process to find European host countries and venues for future editions of the biennial contest, after producing a feasibility stud alongside UK Sport to appraise the sustainability of a number of venues across the UK.

Meanwhile, the PGA of America decides the venue for the Ryder Cup when the tournament heads to the United States.

American venues are generally chosen much earlier in advance than European ones, with future US hosts confirmed until 2037, while European venues are only confirmed until 2027.

Related: Future Ryder Cup Venues

It is estimated that the Ryder Cup generates $100 million through the accumulation of ticket sales and, more importantly, sponsorship deals.

As a result, it is suggested that money is becoming a bigger factor in choosing Ryder Cup host venues.

Europe's 2014 winning captain Paul McGinley also told Golf Monthly last year that money is the driving factor behind how a venue is chosen.

"It’s always, first and foremost, about one thing, it is about money, about commercialism.

"Who is going to pay to have their Ryder Cup?

"Whistling Straits have had a PGA Championship there, the PGA of America own the PGA Championship and they also own the Ryder Cup and they have a commercial deal with Herb Kohler who owns it up there and hence that’s why it's there.

"So first and foremost over any other reason, same in Europe, its all about money."

Ryan has worked as a junior staff writer for Golf Monthly since 2021.