The history of The Walker Cup


With the Walker Cup this week, we thought we’d take a look back at the history of the tournament.

Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club will be set up at 7,086 yards and will play to a par of 34-36–70.

(NOTE: yardages subject to change).

Royal Lytham & St. Annes Hole By Hole            
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Total
Par 3 4 4 4 3 4 5 4 3 34
Yardage 205 481 478 392 219 492 592 416 165 3,440
Hole 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Total
Par 4 5 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 36
Yardage 387 598 198 355 444 462 336 453 413 3,646

Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club was founded in 1886. The course, which features 204 bunkers, was designed by George Lowe, the club’s first professional. Minor revisions were made in 1919 by Harry Colt.

The Walker Cup Match is contested by male amateur golfers, one team from the United States of America and one team comprised of players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The teams consist of not more than 10 players and a captain. The Match is conducted every two years, alternately in the USA and in Great Britain or Ireland. This is the 45th Walker Cup Match.

The USA Team is selected by the United States Golf Association’s International Team Selection Committee. The R&A selects the team from Great Britain and Ireland.

John “Spider” Miller, of Bloomington, Ind., will serve as the captain for the USA Walker Cup Team. Miller, who won the U.S. Mid-Amateur in 1996 and 1998, played on the 1999 USA Walker Cup Team. He teamed with Hunter Haas to win a pair of foursomes matches before losing to Paul Casey, 3 and 2, in singles at Nairn Golf Club in Scotland. Miller led Indiana to a tie for third in the 1997 USGA Men’s State Team Championship and was inducted into the Indiana Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2000.

Nigel Edwards will serve as GB&I captain for a third time. He guided the team to a 14-12 victory in 2011. Edwards played in four consecutive Walker Cups from 2001 through 2007, a period that included a pair of GB&I wins. He is the third Welshman to captain GB&I, following Tony Duncan and Clive Brown. Edwards has been the director of coaching at the English Golf Union, the governing body of amateur golf in England, since 2011.

Daily tickets are available. Admission is free for juniors who are under age 16 as of Sept. 11, 2015. For more information, visit

On Saturday, Sept. 12, there will be four foursomes (alternate-shot) matches in the morning and eight singles matches in the afternoon. On Sunday, Sept. 13, there will be four foursomes matches in the morning and 10 singles matches in the afternoon. All matches will be 18 holes.

All Times Local

Friday, Sept. 11 (Note: All times are subject to change)
4:30 p.m. (11:30 a.m. EDT), Opening Ceremony

Saturday, Sept. 12
9 a.m. (4 a.m. EDT), Foursomes
1:45 p.m. (8:45 a.m. EDT), Singles

Sunday, Sept. 13
8:30 a.m. (3:30 a.m. EDT), Foursomes
1:15 p.m. (8:15 a.m. EDT), Singles                 

Foursomes is a match in which two players compete against two others players in an alternate-shot format, with each side playing just one ball.

A victory in each match scores one point. In the event a match goes 18 holes without a winner, a half-point is awarded to each team.

The team that scores the most points wins the Match. In the event of a tie, the team that won the previous competition retains the Walker Cup.

The BBC will provide coverage on each day of the competition. ESPN2 will present a highlights program on Sunday, Sept. 13, from 3-5 p.m. EDT.

Date                           Time (EDT)                           Network           Program
Saturday, Sept. 12      9 a.m.-11 a.m.                       BBC                Foursomes (taped)
Saturday, Sept. 12      11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.                  BBC                Singles (live)
Sunday, Sept. 13        10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.           BBC                Foursomes (taped)
Sunday, Sept. 13        12:30 p.m.-3 p.m.                  BBC                Singles (live)
Sunday, Sept. 13        3 p.m.-5 p.m.                         ESPN2            Highlights (taped)

ESPN3 and WatchESPN will provide digital coverage on each day of the competition.

Date                           Time (EDT)                            Network
Saturday, Sept. 12      9 a.m.-1 p.m.                          ESPN3/WatchESPN
Sunday, Sept. 13        8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.              ESPN3/WatchESPN

This is the 45th Walker Cup Match. The competition began in the wake of World War I, following a series of meetings between the United States Golf Association and The Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the key purpose of which was a discussion of modifying the Rules of Golf. As part of the meetings, an international team competition was discussed, with the aim of strengthening understanding and friendship between The R&A and the USGA. 

Among those attending the meetings at The R&A was George Herbert Walker, USGA president in 1920. Walker soon presented a plan for the competition and offered to donate a trophy. When the press dubbed the trophy the Walker Cup, the name stuck.

The first Walker Cup Match was contested in 1922 at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, N.Y. Led by playing captain William C. Fownes Jr., the USA won the inaugural Match, 8-4. The USA leads the series, 35-8-1. Since 1989, however, when GB&I won for the first time in the USA, by one point at Peachtree Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga., the USA holds a narrow 7-6 advantage.

2013 Walker Cup: National Golf Links of America, Southampton, N.Y. (USA 17, GB&I 9)
2011 Walker Cup: Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, Aberdeen, Scotland (GB&I 14, USA 12)
2009 Walker Cup: Merion Golf Club, Ardmore, Pa. (USA 161Ž2, GB&I 91Ž2)
2007 Walker Cup: Royal County Down, Newcastle, County Down, Ireland (USA 121Ž2, GB&I 111Ž2)
2005 Walker Cup: Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Ill. (USA 121Ž2, GB&I 111Ž2)
2003 Walker Cup: Ganton Golf Club, Ganton, England (GB&I 121Ž2, USA 111Ž2)
2001 Walker Cup: Ocean Forest Golf Club, Sea Island, Ga. (GB&I 15, USA 9)
1999 Walker Cup: Nairn Golf Club, Nairn, Scotland (GB&I 15, USA 9)
1997 Walker Cup: Quaker Ridge Golf Club, Scarsdale, N.Y. (USA 18, GB&I 6)
1995 Walker Cup: Royal Porthcawl, Porthcawl, Wales (GB&I 14, USA 10)
1993 Walker Cup: Interlachen Country Club, Edina, Minn. (USA 19, GB&I 5)
1991 Walker Cup: Portmarnock Golf Club, Portmarnock, County Dublin, Ireland (USA 14, GB&I 10)
1989 Walker Cup: Peachtree Golf Club, Atlanta, Ga. (GB&I 121Ž2, USA 111Ž2)

The 2015 Walker Cup Match will be the seventh Match contested in England. The international competition will be played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club for the first time.

Walker Cup Matches in England    
1930: Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich (USA 10, GB&I 2)
1951: Birkdale Golf Club, Southport (USA 6, GB&I 3)
1967: Royal St. George’s Golf Club, Sandwich (USA 13, GB&I 7)
1983: Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake (USA 131Ž2, GB&I 101Ž2)
1987: Sunningdale Golf Club, Berkshire (USA 161Ž2, GB&I 71Ž2)
2003: Ganton Golf Club, Ganton (GB&I 121Ž2, GB&I 111Ž2)

Sept. 9-10, 2017: Los Angeles Country Club (North Course), Los Angeles, Calif.
Sept. 7-8, 2019: Royal Liverpool Golf Club, Hoylake, England

Championship Years and Winners
1926 – Robert T. Jones Jr. by two strokes over Al Watrous, 291-293
1952 – Bobby Locke by one stroke over Peter Thomson, 287-288
1958 – Peter Thomson def. Dave Thomas, 278 (68-71) – 278 (69-74)
1963 – Bob Charles def. Phil Rodgers, 277 (69-71) – 277 (72-76)
1969 – Tony Jacklin by two strokes over Bob Charles, 280-282
1974 – Gary Player by four strokes over Peter Oosterhuis, 282-286
1979 – Seve Ballesteros by three strokes over Ben Crenshaw, Jack Nicklaus, 283-286
1988 – Seve Ballesteros by two strokes over Nick Price, 273-275
1996 – Tom Lehman by two strokes over Ernie Els, Mark McCumber, 271-273
2001 – David Duval by three strokes over Niclas Fasth, 274-277
2012 – Ernie Els by one stroke over Adam Scott, 273-274

Championship Years and Winners
1935 – Lawson Little def. Williams Tweddell, 1 up
1955 – Joe Conrad def. Alan Slater, 3 and 2
1986 – David Curry def. Geoff Birtwell, 11 and 9
2007 – Drew Weaver def. Tim Stewart, 2 and 1

Championship Years and Winners
1998 – Sherri Steinhauer by one stroke over Brandie Burton, Sophie Gustafson, 292-293
2003 – Annika Sorenstam by one stroke over Se Ri Pak, 278-279
2006 – Sherri Steinhauer by three strokes over Sophie Gustafson, Cristie Kerr, 281-284
2009 – Catriona Matthew by three strokes over Karrie Webb, 285-288

Championship Years and Winners
1991 – Bobby Verwey by one stroke over Bob Charles, 285-286
1992 – John Fourie by three strokes over Bob Charles, Neil Coles, 282-285
1993 – Bob Charles by one stroke over Tommy Horton, Gary Player, 291-292
1994 – Tom Wargo by two strokes over Bob Charles, Doug Dalziel, 280-282

1961: USA def. Great Britain, 141Ž2-91Ž2
1977: USA def. Great Britain and Ireland, 121Ž2-71Ž2

2013 WALKER CUP RECAP           
The United States regained the Walker Cup at the historic National Golf Links of America, site of the inaugural Match in 1922, with a resounding 17-9 victory over Great Britain and Ireland. It was the USA’s largest margin of victory since an 18-6 decision at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in 1997.

The victory was also a measure of redemption for captain Jim Holtgrieve, Patrick Rodgers and Nathan Smith – the holdovers from the 2011 team, which suffered a two-point defeat at Royal Aberdeen in Scotland. Continuing the dominance from Saturday’s singles session, the USA, which entered the final day with an 8-4 lead, split the four Sunday foursomes (alternate-shot) matches and claimed seven of the 10 afternoon singles matches. That included a pair of 4-and-3 victories by the two mid-amateurs on the team, 45-year-old Todd White and 35-year-old Smith.

Bobby Wyatt, of Mobile, Ala., led the way for the Americans with a 3-0-1 record, including a 4-and-3 triumph over 2013 U.S. Amateur co-medalist Neil Raymond. Matthew Fitzpatrick, the first Englishman to win the U.S. Amateur in 102 years, posted a 3-1 record, including 2-0 in foursomes with GB&I teammate Raymond.

2011 WALKER CUP RECAP           
Great Britain and Ireland, bolstered by the undefeated records of Paul Cutler, of Northern Ireland, and Rhys Pugh, of Wales, won the Match for the first time since 2003 with a 14-12 victory over the USA at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Scotland. Cutler, the winner of the 2011 Irish Amateur, compiled a 3-0-1 mark. Pugh, the youngest competitor on either side at 17, was 3-0. He won the 2011 Irish Amateur Open.

GB&I, captained by Nigel Edwards, has claimed four of the last five Walker Cups played on home soil, dating to 1995 at Royal Porthcawl in Wales. In windy conditions, GB&I won three matches and tied a fourth in Sunday morning’s foursomes to increase its lead to 10 1/2-5 1/2. The USA won the first two matches in the afternoon singles session, but Steven Brown’s half with the USA’s Blayne Barber in the sixth match clinched the Match for the GB&I and ended a streak of three USA wins.

2009 WALKER CUP RECAP           
Both Rickie Fowler and Peter Uihlein went 4-0 to lead the USA to a 16 1/2-9 1/2 victory over GB&I at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa. It was the third consecutive win for the Americans. After Saturday’s competition, the USA led 8-4, and in Sunday morning’s foursomes, the USA Team won three of the four matches for the second consecutive day to build its lead to 11-5 heading into the afternoon’s singles play. Cameron Tringale posted an 8-and-6 victory over Luke Goddard to give the USA its 13th point and assured that the Americans would retain the Walker Cup. Uihlein then earned a 3-and-1 win over Stiggy Hodgson to claim the trophy outright for the USA Team, captained by George “Buddy” Marucci.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections.