Score Golf article on the Senior Ryder Cup
The following article was in the Score Golf summer edition featuring the top 100 golf courses
Score Golf East Notes
By Jason Logan Created: August 15, 2018
Senior Ryder Cup celebrating 20th year
Two Decades of Competitive Fun for Senior Ryder Cup
Twenty years ago a small group of senior golfers in the Niagara area of Ontario convened to create a way to quench their competitive thirsts. Having seen the younger members at their respective clubs pass them by in club championships and for spots on club teams, the men devised an inter-club team competition for seniors only modelled after the Ryder Cup. That first year, the founding members of Port Colborne CC, Bridgewater CC, Twenty Valley and Lookout Point CC formed six-man teams to play in a series of matches held at each course with Lookout Point garnering the most points to win the inaugural Niagara District Senior Men’s Ryder Cup in 1999.
The next year the competition expanded to eight clubs with Rockway Glen, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Beachwood and Sawmill joining in on the fun. Then another four teams in 2001 and another four in 2002 with Greater Toronto Area clubs such as Markland Wood and North Halton coming on board too.
Twenty years later the Senior Ryder Cup enjoys tremendous popularity with a whopping 112 clubs stretching from Windsor to Belleville, as far north as Bracebridge, and also into Michigan and Upper New York as members. Approximately 1,400 golfers are now playing in matches most of the summer.
The massive numbers — with room to expand by 16 more clubs, perhaps in Ottawa and Montreal — has transformed the competition from an intimate affair to a massive undertaking. Today’s Senior Ryder Cup has a two-month regular season in June and July and playoff events in August. It has 28 four-club divisions that shuffle up every year with the help of an algorithm taking such things as geography, past records and type of club into account, with eight man teams playing two-man better ball, scramble, shamble and Chapman formats. It has an intricate website with regularly updated schedules, standings news and historical records. It has sponsors in Callaway, Lexus of London, Jackson Triggs and Visit Tucson.
SENIOR RYDER CUP The squad from Guelph’s Cutten Fields emerged victorious at the 2017 Senior Ryder Cup.
Cutten Fields in Guelph, Ont., won last year’s Senior Ryder Cup with the always-strong Lookout Point in second. This year’s final will take place at Saugeen G&CC near the shores of Lake Huron in Bruce County.
“One of the keys is camaraderie but it is competitive obviously,” says Jim Aziz, a team member at Oakville Golf Club and the organization’s Mississauga director. “It’s a blend of camaraderie and competitiveness.”
For more information on the Senior Ryder Cup, visit seniorrydercup.com.