Global Edition

The Ryder Cup Countdown

11.39am 21st June 2018 - Ryder Cup Business

Ross Biddiscombe at Hazeltine in 2016

This year, for the first time, GBN will be following all the major business developments in the build-up to Paris with an exclusive series of in-depth Ryder Cup Business Special newsletters that will deliver unparalleled Ryder Cup insights, comments and details from both sides of the Atlantic on this year’s match.

Written and compiled by GBN editor Geoff Russell and Ryder Cup author and GBN contributor Ross Biddiscombe, each GBN Ryder Cup Business Special will unravel the event’s commercial mysteries and delve into its business background with news, features, analysis and historical perspectives of golf’s greatest team competition.

Regular editions will be published between now and Friday 28 September when the first match tees off and, in addition, all GBN’s fascinating archive of Ryder Cup business news will be available on the website page.

Content will include:

Where we are today

News from Le Golf National’s general manager Paul Armitage is that the Ryder Cup is not the only thing on his mind at the moment as he and his team are in the middle of preparations for the HNA French Open which starts in exactly one week’s time, 28 June.

But once next week’s tournament finishes, it’s all systems go for the match in September. There are no grandstands built for the French Open, but all the hospitality units and tented village will be de-rigged after the tournament and only then will the massive three-month Ryder Cup build begin. And, says Armitage, there are many differences between the two events.

Le Golf National’s general manager Paul Armitage

“One of the most obvious differences is the transport plans; they’re not the same because of the number of visitors,” he says. “The French Open attracts between 50,000 and 80,000 people for the entire week, but we are looking at upwards of 250,000 spectators at the Ryder Cup.

“Also, the sizes of the builds for the two tournaments are of no comparison. Although some of the Ryder Cup build has already happened, 90% of it actually takes place in the three-month period after the French Open.

“But I can definitely say that, with 100 days to go, the course is looking great, the international attention and coverage is high and the tickets are all but sold out,” he says.

The business history of the Ryder Cup

Ross Biddiscombe’s acclaimed book Ryder Cup Revealed explained all the background to the Ryder Cup’s topsy-turvy commercial history. In each newsletter, he will adapt stories from the book to outline all the major money stories and the tales are not always what golf fans would expect.

“The 42nd match with its wide range of corporate sponsors, dozens of hospitality suits and hundreds of millions of TV fans around the world is a far cry from the initial event at the Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts in 1927.

In those days, the British PGA was a little over 25-years-old and counted its membership in hundreds rather than thousands. It had little or no money in the bank, so even though the Americans handled all the costs of staging the match in their country and would take care of all the bills once the GB team arrived, the PGA could not afford the £3,000 needed to send its party across the Atlantic.

So the leading magazine of the day, Golf Illustrated, appealed in its editorial pages to Britain’s 1,750 golf clubs. However, the response was rather lukewarm: less than half the clubs sent in money, many of them £10 or less and, in the end, the magazine made up the difference with the final £300.

Nowadays, the financial situation is quite the reverse: European Ryder Cup events are hugely profitable and the profits benefit many golf organisations and development plans. Also, the ownership has changed: the European Tour (which is the managing partner) now has 60% of the rights; the PGA, as legacy partner, has 20%; and the PGAs of Europe also owns 20%. Yes, it’s hard to believe that GB’s first Ryder Cup was financed with a last-minute donation from a magazine.”

More to come

GBN editor Geoff Russell says that the Ryder Cup Business Special has already attracted lots of attention: “People in the golf industry in Europe and around the world want to know all about the behind-the-scenes aspects of the Ryder Cup and we intend to give them more than they’ve ever had before.”

GBN contributor Ross Biddiscombe will be on-site at the match reporting directly from the amazingly sophisticated media centre at Le Golf National. “Paris is where all the great and the good from the business world of golf will be in September and I’ll be talking to them before and during the event so that GBN readers get the industry’s inside stories.”

Look out for the next GBN Ryder Cup Newsletter with the countdown at 75 days – Monday 16 July.

Ross Biddiscombe’s acclaimed book Ryder Cup Revealed is available at via this hotlink:


 /  /  /  /  /  /  /  / 

In related news... (GBN) is for the many thousands of people who work in the golf business all around the world.

We cover the full range of topics both on and off the course. We aim to supply essential information both quickly and accurately in a format which is easy to use. We are independent of all special interest groups.


Click here to sign up for our free twice weekly golf industry news summary

View the latest newsletter here