In just over a month Europe and the United States will battle it out for one of the greatest trophies in the game of golf.

Europe will be lead out by Darren Clarke as they seek to make it four wins in a row. America, still smarting from a resounding thrashing in 2014, will be looking to restore some pride after only winning two of the last 10 Ryder Cups.

The stage is set for the 2016 instalment to be one of the greatest in recent memory. In the wake of the defeat two years ago, an 11-man task force was charged with analysing all aspects of the United States’ approach to the Ryder Cup.

Davis Love‘s 2016 side looks set to be a completely different beast for the Europeans this time around.

So to prepare you for the action to come, here is everything you need to know about this year’s tournament…

2016 Ryder Cup

What is it?

The Ryder Cup is a biennial men’s competition between the United States and Europe. It takes place every two years and the venue alternates between courses in America and Europe.

There are 12 players on each team and the selection process is largely based on individual performances at major tournaments over a 12-month period. Nine players automatically qualify for Europe and the captain will select three wild cards, while eight qualify for the USA and the captain has four of his own picks.

Matchplay is the game of choice at the Ryder Cup. The Friday and Saturday action involves four foursomes and four fourball matches taking place each day.

On Sunday the pressure is cranked to the maximum. All players must play in one-vs-one singles matches.

The winner of each match scores a point, with half a point each for any match that is tied after the 18 holes. The overall winner of the Ryder Cup is determined by cumulative total points.

2016 Ryder Cup

When is the 2016 Ryder Cup?

The 2016 edition of the Ryder Cup will be held from Friday, September 30 to Sunday, October 2.

Expect big crowds, lots of chanting and more fist pumps than you can shake a stick at.

Where is it?

The biggest team competition in world golf will take place at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, a suburb southwest of Minneapolis. It’s the first time that the course, designed by Robert Trent Jones, has hosted the Ryder Cup.

However, it has welcomed both the US Open and PGA Championship twice each. One of the most memorable was when Y.E. Yang held off world No 1 Tiger Woods to claim the 2009 PGA Championship and become the first Asian-born player to win a men’s Major championship.

When are the teams announced?

Working out who can qualify for the European team is likely to leave you with a slight headache if you think too hard about it.

Basically, qualification is made up of two lists – the European Points List and World Points List. The top four on the European list automatically qualify. The leading five players on the World list, who have not already qualified via the European list, will make up the rest of the automatic qualifiers.

2016 Ryder Cup

The race to qualify will end on August 28.

The other three players will be wildcard picks made by Captain Darren Clarke on the week commencing Monday, August 29.

The USA team selection is more straightforward. The top eight on the Points List after August 28 are on their way to Hazeltine.

US Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III will select three of his four picks after the conclusion of the BMW Championship on September 11. His fourth pick will take place after the TOUR Championship on September 25, just five days before the start of the Ryder Cup.

How can I watch it?

All the action will be shown live by Sky Sports and like its coverage of this year’s Open, the broadcasting powerhouse is set to dedicate an entire channel to the Ryder Cup.

It is also worth noting that Hazeltine will be six hours behind UK time so be prepared to stay up late to catch the last of the play.

2016 Ryder Cup

Who are the reigning champions?

Europe hammered the USA 16.5-11.5 two years ago at Gleneagles in Scotland to win the Ryder Cup for a third successive year.
Paul McGinley was the skipper who masterminded Europe’s dominant victory against Tom Watson’s divided American side.
This year, Darren Clarke will lead Europe and will go up against Davis Love III’s American team.

What else do I need to know?

The Ryder Cup is named after Englishman Samuel Ryder, who sponsored several golf tournaments and donated the first trophy for the Ryder Cup.
2016 Ryder Cup
The competition was originally contested between Great Britain and the United States, with the first taking place in 1927. Ireland joined forces with Great Britain in 1973 and it was then extended to Europe in 1979.
Oh, and you will need plenty of beers in the fridge and your nearest takeaway on speed dial for this year’s action.

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James Broadhurst

PGA Catalunya Stadium PGA Catalunya Stadium

The NCG Top 100s Tour is heading to Europe for a multi-day event at PGA Catalunya. Prices start at £799 per golfer.


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