For young golfing fans, it could be easy to think that Europe have always had the best of the Ryder Cup (and the best Ryder Cup photos too of course). Having won so many of the recent iterations of the classic biennial event, Europe’s dominance has understandably meant they’ve had many of the most memorable moments. In fact, it wasn’t always this way...
For almost six decades, Great Britain and Ireland just couldn’t keep up with the Americans. The Ryder Cup became known as the stomping ground of the USA, back when the other European countries had no involvement. A few unsuspected upsets in 1929, 1933 and 1957 were exceptions to the rule. Outside these years, America ruled the roost.
Fast-forward to 1979 however and the Ryder Cup would never be the same again. For the first time, the more inspiring Ryder Cup photos doing the rounds didn’t exclusively feature elated Americans. The tournament evolved to put the biggest names in golf from both the United States and Europe against each other.
To say that this all brought a big turnaround would be something of an understatement. In fact, across the 17 events that have been held since Europe joined in 1979, America has chalked up just seven victories. By contrast, Europe currently has 10 wins under its belt.
For any keen golfer, to look back over the history of the Ryder Cup is to pay homage to something truly special. There are certain Ryder Cup photos that encapsulate what this event is and always has been about. One of the most important events in the golfing calendar, winning the Ryder Cup is about so much more than bragging rights...
It’s about golf immortality.
So with this in mind, we take a look at some of the most inspiring and iconic Ryder Cup photos ever captured... Both on and off the golf course. Present any of the following golf prints to a keen golfer and a chill down their spine is all but guaranteed.
Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer Pair UpFirst up, there have been few superstar pairings in the history of professional golf quite like this. When Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer joined forces for the Ryder Cup, the golfing world watched in silent awe. This particular shot was taken when the dynamic duo was lining up an important putt during the 1971 Ryder Cup. At the time, they were taking on Peter Townsend and Harry Bannerman of Great Britain.
Seve Ballesteros at Ryder Cup 1985No stranger to controversy over the years, Seve Ballesteros also fired out some of the most spectacular shots in Ryder Cup history. One of which being his famed escape from one of the most dreaded bunkers at the Belfry, during the Ryder cup in 1985. Which, of course, Europe went on to win.
USA Celebrate at Kiawah Island 1991
Justin Leonard Celebrates Monster Brookline Putt
Graeme McDowell Closes Out the Match On the 17th
2012 European Ryder Cup Winning Team
Francesco Molinari Europe Winning Ryder Cup 2018
Didn’t see your pick for the best Ryder Cup photo? Explore more iconic shots on our golf photos page!