Original Ryder Cup 1902
How the Original (1902) Ryder Cup turned up at Llanishen Golf Club
You have all heard of the Ryder Cup and might even know a little bit about the story of the golf tournament, but do you know anything about the man behind the trophy? Samuel Ryder, the namesake of the Ryder Cup Trophy, was a devout Christian businessman who made his fortune selling seed packets through the mail in Great Britain and throughout the world.
Sam Ryder started playing golf when he was 49 years of age. He was encouraged by his church minister to take up the game in order to get some fresh air to improve his health. Though he had enjoyed other sports he took to golf like a duck to water! About 6 years before he took up golf himself, Sam Ryder donated a trophy to the Free Church Ministers golf society in 1902 for a tournament to be played by ordained ministers for recreation and relaxation. It has been played for every year (apart from the war years) to this day. This silver trophy was donated 25 years before he commissioned the more famous gold trophy in 1927 – the Ryder Cup.
A member of Llanishen Golf Club, Sue Bevan, had the privilege of being part of a team of 12 players representing the Welsh Christian Golf Society to go to America with the trophy. They accepted an invitation from America to bring the Sam Ryder Trophy over to the US. So a week before the Ryder Cup 2012 was played they had the honour of sharing details of Sam Ryder’s amazing life and faith at each of the events. Larry Mize, Lauren Roberts and Bill Rogers also shared their faith in their after dinner talks to the guests.
The team played at Lake Lanier Golf Club in Atlanta, Black Creek Golf Club in Chattanooga and Limestone Springs Golf Club in Birmingham, Alabama. Some of the group went on to a charity gala event in Chicago, with the trophy and spent a day at the Ryder Cup 2012 in the Medina Country Club. Sue was fortunate to be able to get her hands on the original trophy (before it was returned to the WCGS) and has shared this experience with Llanishen Golf Club and it has been a great honour for us to see such an historic trophy.