What makes the Ryder Cup the ultimate team competition?

Professional golf is almost always contested as an individual competition except for a weekend every two years when the Ryder Cup is held.

When this time arrives, 24 of the world’s best players converge on a particular course in either Europe or America in a bid to win the Ryder Cup. In 2023, the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome will host the 44th edition of this unique team event. 

Who will win the 2023 Ryder Cup?

If you’re a US fan then the latest Ryder Cup odds will make for pleasing reading as Zach Johnson’s men begin the week as pre-tournament favorites at a price of -110.

Admittedly, there isn’t much between the two sides when you consider that the latest 2023 Ryder Cup golf bet odds list Europe as marginal outsiders at +120. Overall, it’s probably fair to say that the 2023 showdown in Italy is too close to call.


Indeed, while the US may have the stronger team, Europe hasn’t lost on home soil since 1993. What is a certainty, however, is that the world will once again come to a standstill as this gladiatorial team contest is fought in the Eternal City.

There is, quite simply, nothing that can match the Ryder Cup as the ultimate team competition. Why is this the case? 

What gives the Ryder Cup an edge over other team sports?

Time and time again, the Ryder Cup serves as an overwhelming reminder to the world’s best golfers of the powerful camaraderie that exists in team competition. As briefly touched on, for every other week on tour, these players are in a solo battle trying to win millions of dollars but when they pull on the colors of either the US or Europe, they are playing for something much deeper than personal reward.

Crucially, players are not paid for their efforts at the Ryder Cup and are only there for the honor of representing a country or continent.

This realization often brings players who don’t usually show any emotion on the course to tears

Whether it’s because they feel like they’ve let people down or made them proud, the Ryder Cup leaves players in no doubt that the game of golf is bigger than them. At some point or other over the weekend, the appreciation of what they’re doing hits like a ton of bricks, and after that, the players become far more animated; fist pumps and chest bumps become commonplace on every hole. 


For better or for worse, this intense passion can often lead to heated exchanges between competing players which the partisan crowds lining the fairways and greens feed off. In the blink of an eye, the usually conservative environment found on a golf course has been replaced by a ferocious atmosphere. With both sets of players and fans riled up, losing is no longer an option which means drama is sure to follow. 

All or nothing 

Essentially, the Ryder Cup taps into the heart of what it means to be a teammate. When players are asked to be selfless, they either reach superhuman heights or crumble under the fear of failing. It is the ultimate example of sink or swim and makes the Ryder Cup the most compelling team competition in the world.

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