Did you know Leeds hosted the first ever Ryder Cup in Europe?

As the Ryder Cup gets underway in France today, golfers at one Leeds club will be teeing off on the greens which hosted the competition's first ever European matches.

Friday, 28th September 2018, 3:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 29th September 2018, 7:04 am

Moortown Golf Club in Alwoodley was the course chosen to stage the second Ryder Cup in 1929 - the first time it was played in Europe. At the time, the contest was between golfers from the US and Britain, and continental European players were not invited to take part until 1979.

The prestigious club was founded in 1909 and the course was designed by renowned golf architect Dr Alister MacKenzie, who also designed the Masters course at Augusta.

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The event was played in late April - yet players and spectators had to contend with hail and even a dusting of snow, although the greens were said to have been in perfect condition.

The course played fast and 70 was often broken by the golfers. Samuel Ryder, who founded the Cup, donated a trophy to Moortown's ladies' section as a thanks for their hospitality, which is still contested to this day.

It was the biggest golf tournament ever to have been played on British soil at the time, and attracted record crowds of around 15,000.

In the early decades of the Cup, Ganton Golf Club in Scarborough and Lindrick near Sheffield were among the hosts, but since 1979, when the competition expanded to Europe, only two British courses - Walton Heath in Surrey and The Belfry in Warwickshire - have hosted, and it has never returned to Yorkshire.