The Walker Cup may not be filled with names that you recognize, but it doesn’t make the biennial event any less meaningful. The event, co-organized by the USGA and R&A, pits the best amateur golfers from the United States against their counterparts from Great Britain and Ireland in a team format. The event is named after George Herbert Walker – the grandfather of former President of the United States George H. W. Bush – and is the premier amateur team golf event in the world. Without the Walker Cup we likely wouldn’t have the Ryder Cup, or any of the team events that we know today – at least in their current form.
While you may not be familiar with the names on the current rosters, many of the best players in the world have taken part in this event prior to turning pro. The list of former participants is a veritable who’s who in professional golf. The list is too long to include here, but feel free to check out the official website to get an idea of the guys that have participated over the years.
This year’s event will start tomorrow at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, NY. The United States holds an enormous lead in the series. The Americans are 34-8-1 since the event began in 1922. However, the team from Great Britain and Ireland has come on strong in recent years, with the last 12 results split down the middle at 6 – 6.
If you don’t think that being selected to take part in this competition is an honor for those involved, United States captain Jim Holtgrieve begs to differ. “There’s no greater honor in sport than to represent your country,” he said. “That’s a really big priority with me because it’s just that important for these young men to understand how fortunate we are to be able to play this great game and to play for our country.”