With roots dating back to 1927, The Ryder Cup is the biennial contest between Europe and the United States. Led by experienced captains who play a central role in nurturing the group chemistry and put team spirit above all else, 12-player combinations compete over three days for the Samuel Ryder Trophy.
Hosted alternately by the PGA of America and Ryder Cup Europe, this year’s edition will take place at Marco Simone Golf & Country Club, located 17km from the heart of the Italian Capital Rome, from 29 September – 1 October.
Synonymous with tradition, teamwork and sportsmanship, The Ryder Cup honours the collective, with some of the finest champions in the game channeling their individual talent for the greater achievement of the group. Fierce battles are waged with utmost respect between opponents, and intergenerational solidarity and camaraderie are at a premium.
One of golf’s most coveted prizes, The Ryder Cup enshrines the traditional values of excellence and fair play that are the essence of the sport and which echo Rolex’s own defining philosophy. As part of its commitment to the game of golf that goes back almost 60 years, Rolex first partnered with The Ryder Cup in 1995 as Official Timekeeper of Team Europe, which exemplified the brand’s values of respect and integrity. The Swiss watchmaker is now a Worldwide Partner at all editions of the competition, in both Europe and the United States, and Presenting Partner of the weekly Ryder Cup Points Standings that determine player qualification.
Showcasing passion and drama in equal measure, The Ryder Cup is golf at its very best, featuring champions from both sides of the Atlantic. The Ryder Cup Trophy is named after English businessman and golf enthusiast Samuel Ryder, who first donated the trophy in 1927 as the prize for the international competition between American and British professional golfers at Worcester Country Club, US. The trophy is approximately 17 inches tall and weighs four pounds, sitting on a wooden base that has the scores of each event engraved onto it.
The first tee is a stage unlike any other in international sport. Each edition of this unique competition brings hundreds of thousands of spectators to the course and attracts millions of television viewers worldwide. Golf’s most exciting team event is always intense, raising the passions of players and fans alike as the drama unfolds. It has inspired some of the most memorable duels for nearly a century and perpetuates the very legend of golf. It is defined by the crowd filling the grandstands, the noise, the anticipation and the palpable nerves.
Rolex Testimonee Luke Donald has the responsibility as Europe’s captain to lead the team for the 2023 Ryder Cup. As a player, he has represented Europe on four occasions, with the team winning every time. In his last appearance, in 2012, he led Team Europe out in the singles, securing the first blue point on the board in the so-called Miracle at Medinah. He also served as a vice-captain at the past two editions, including in 2018 under fellow Testimonee Thomas Bjørn, who will serve as a vice-captain this year.
Speaking ahead of this year’s edition, Luke Donald said: “The Ryder Cup is the purest form of competition that we have in our sport. We play a lot of individual tournaments but to come together as a team and do something for the collective rather than just yourself is special. There is nothing quite like representing your country or continent. The Ryder Cup is rich in history and there is a great rivalry between Europe and the United States. It is very passionate and there is nothing that matches it in the game of golf .”
Captaining the United States is Rolex Testimonee Zach Johnson, who made the first of his five Ryder Cup appearances as a player in 2006 and has served as a vice-captain at the past two editions. He has named fellow Testimonee Fred Couples as one of his vice-captains for Rome.
Reflecting on the significance of The Ryder Cup, Rolex Testimonee Jon Rahm said: “The Ryder Cup represents a lot for me. It is one of the main reasons why I am where I am today. The 1997 Ryder Cup was the spark that ignited my passion for the game. I cannot quantify or put into words how much it means but it is hugely important for me .”
By hosting the 44th Ryder Cup, Italy becomes the seventh European nation to stage the famous event, joining England, Scotland, Spain, Ireland, Wales and France. With water hazards located throughout the course, the Marco Simone Golf & Country Club offers an exciting and challenging layout that provides risk and reward shots to captivate spectators.
Commenting on the challenge of playing away from home, Justin Thomas said: “With the 2023 Ryder Cup taking place in Italy, we are especially motivated to go there and win”; and Jordan Spieth said: “The Ryder Cup is just a different beast when we play it away from home and on European soil. It would be really special for us to win in Rome due to what has been happening over the last few years in team events on U.S. soil.” The two Americans have forged one of golf’s most competitive and formidable partnerships in recent years and if paired together this year, will once again be a tough pairing to beat.
One of the most successful and enduring relationships between a brand and sport, Rolex’s affiliation with golf began in 1967 when Arnold Palmer became the brand’s first Testimonee in the sport, joined by his friends and great rivals Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. They formed an unspoken, natural partnership to promote the values of golf to a wider and growing public. For them, victory achieved through proper means was fundamental. These men were the embodiment of fair play, as Nicklaus demonstrated at the 1969 Ryder Cup, when he conceded a putt to tie the competition. This noble sporting gesture marked the invention of the concession, a trait that remains to this day one of the most admired in sport.
Speaking about The Ryder Cup, Jack Nicklaus said: “These competitions are very different to Majors and other golf competitions. In team competitions such as The Ryder Cup, your competition becomes your partner in the different matches. I am pretty certain that Arnold Palmer and I never lost a match. We played together a lot throughout our competitive golf careers. These are opportunities for you to become really close with your partner and to create a special bond that can last the entirety of your life. That is the beauty of these competitions.”
Stemming from this seminal partnership, the brand’s involvement in the sport has grown and flourished, permeating all levels of the game, providing support for elite and emerging players alike, the main professional tours, governing bodies and the finest events on the golfing calendar. Rolex is a leader in its field, an innovator and pioneer in the Swiss watchmaking industry, qualities common among the company’s family of golf Testimonees. This is especially true of a select group of golfers who have been at the vanguard of their sport throughout their playing careers and have continued to lead the way as captains at the game’s most compelling team events including The Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup™ and Solheim Cup. Such were his enduring leadership qualities, Palmer earned two victories from his two captaincies at The Ryder Cup in 1963 and 1975. Subsequently, fellow Rolex Testimonees Nicklaus (1983), Tom Watson (1993), Bernhard Langer (2004), Colin Montgomerie (2010), José María Olazábal (2012), Paul McGinley (2014), and Bjørn (2018) have each led triumphant Ryder Cup teams.
ABOUT ROLEX AND GOLF
Rolex is committed to the permanent quest for excellence in all its endeavours and has been a long-term supporter of golf in its pursuit of the same. The brand’s enduring relationship with the sport began more almost 60 years ago, in 1967, when Arnold Palmer, joined by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player, became the brand’s first golfing Testimonees. Known together as The Big Three, these legendary players changed the face of golf forever, and their partnership with Rolex marked the beginning of a relationship based on the shared commitment to continuous improvement and unwavering precision. Since then, the affiliation has grown and flourished, permeating every level of the game worldwide. From elite players and golf legends to all the game’s Major championships, where success represents the pinnacle of achievement in the sport, as well as the foremost professional tours and worldwide amateur championships, Rolex is ever-present.
Rolex is deeply committed to the amateur game, and is a partner of important amateur tournaments across the globe, including the ground-breaking Augusta National Women’s Championship launched in 2019, The British Amateur Championship, U.S. Amateur Championship, European Amateur Championship, Asia Pacific Amateur Championship, Latin America Amateur Championship and Women’s Amateur Latin America Championship. Rolex also supports the leading amateur team competitions, the Arnold Palmer Cup, Walker Cup, Curtis Cup and World Amateur Team Championship. The Swiss manufacturer’s support for the game is built on a strong sense of integrity and respect for tradition that promote the continuity of expertise and transfer of knowledge, and an understanding of the importance of investing in the sport’s development for future generations.
An unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise
Rolex is an integrated and independent Swiss watch manufacture. Headquartered in Geneva, the brand is recognized the world over for its expertise and the quality of its products – symbols of excellence, elegance and prestige. The movements of its Oyster Perpetual and Perpetual watches are certified by COSC, then tested in-house for their precision, performance and reliability. The Superlative Chronometer certification, symbolized by the green seal, confirms that each watch has successfully undergone tests conducted by Rolex in its own laboratories according to its own criteria. These are periodically validated by an independent external organization.
The word ‘Perpetual’ is inscribed on every Rolex Oyster watch. But more than just a word on a dial, it is a philosophy that embodies the company’s vision and values. Hans Wilsdorf, the founder of the company, instilled a notion of perpetual excellence that would drive the company forward. This led Rolex to pioneer the development of the wristwatch and numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism, invented in 1931. In the course of its history, Rolex has registered over 600 patents. At its four sites in Switzerland, the brand designs, develops and produces the majority of its watch components, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Furthermore, the brand is actively involved in supporting the arts and culture, sport and exploration, as well as those who are devising solutions to preserve the planet.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?