Should The Ryder Cup Return To A Links Course?

Should The Ryder Cup Return To A Links Course?

Ryder Cup Links Golf
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Ryder Cup hasn't been played on a links course since 1977, so should it return in the near future?

Should The Ryder Cup Return To A Links Course?

Since the first edition of the Ryder Cup in 1927, we have seen a variation of different courses the event has been played on.

However, after Royal Lytham & St Annes (opens in new tab) in 1977, we haven't seen the Ryder Cup return to a links golf course. Why is that? Why haven't we seen golf being played in its most rural form? I mean, should golf return to the links layout that we are all so familiar with?

Should The Ryder Cup Return To A Links Course?

The first problem we find is the infrastructure. Recently, there have been courses specifically designed to host these huge events like the Ryder Cup.

For example, 2018's event at Le Golf National (opens in new tab) offered perfect viewing spots for spectators with space for over 80,000 spectators. There was also plenty of room for media and all the other bits that come with an event of this magnitude.

Ryder Cup Links Golf

Le Golf National in 2018. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

It was the same with Celtic Manor in 2010, where over quarter of a million fans were present that week to watch Team Europe defeat USA in the most horrendous weather conditions.

Another factor is the accessibility of the event itself, a prime example being Royal St George's (opens in new tab) at the 2021 Open Championship.

Due to the number of spectators coming in to the Sandwich based course, Sergio Garcia needed a police escort just to get to the venue.

It was the same for Matt Fitzpatrick, who had to walk to the course after traffic around the town caused chaos for the players in the event.

Related: Garcia and Fitzpatrick Struggle To Get To Royal St George's Due To Open Traffic (opens in new tab)

Obviously there are other links courses available that can hold the sizeable event comfortably, but with the vastness of the Ryder Cup, they simply aren't large enough to accommodate the sheer mass of people.

Ryder Cup Links Golf

Spieth at the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St George's. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

If you look at the next venues for the Ryder Cup, you have Marco Simone Golf Club (opens in new tab) which, in 2018, was completely redesigned by Tom Fazio to create a layout made for matchplay, as well as including the usual viewing points for spectators, and being only 10 miles from the centre of Rome.

The next venue in 2025 is Bethpage Black (opens in new tab), a venue which has hosted multiple Major championships, seen hundreds of thousands of American fans filter through its entrances and, once again, is not far from the centre of New York.

Lastly, in 2027, we head to yet another Tom Fazio redesigned course in Adare Manor, which underwent a 24-month course reconstruction to set itself up for a Ryder Cup (opens in new tab) event.

See more

The common theme here is infrastructure, something that links courses struggle with due to the history surrounding them.

But there have been so many famous Ryder Cup moments at links golf courses, such as the famous Concession at Royal Birkdale in 1969.

Related: Which Course Has Hosted The Most Ryder Cups? (opens in new tab)

Many golf fans would love to see the Ryder Cup return to one in the near future, especially when you see the yearly drama of an Open Championship. However, due to the sheer scale and size it doesn't appear to be happening any time soon....

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.


Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.


Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x