1. The first cup was contested at Worcester (Mass.) Country Club in 1927
That may have been the first “official” Ryder Cup, but the first real cup matches took place June 4–5, 1926, at Wentworth Club in England. A general strike in the UK caused transportation issues that affected many U.S. players.
2. U.S. teams dominated from the beginning
After the first four matches, the U.S. and Great Britain & Ireland teams were all square: The U.S. won the first and third handily, 9½–2½ in 1927 and 9–3 in 1931, but lost 7–5 in 1929 and 6½–5½ in 1933. Starting in 1935, the U.S. won regularly until 1957.
3. The first teams were composed only of “homebred” players
Although American rules said a player had to be born and reside in the country he represented, Johnny Golden, who played on the ’27 and ’29 teams and reportedly was born in Tuxedo, N.Y., actually hailed from Austria-Hungary.
4. The model for the figure on top of the trophy was Abe Mitchell
The figure is generic and common to many trophies of the era. Furthermore, Mitchell, who was Samuel Ryder’s good friend and home club professional, employed a baseball grip; the figurine shows a Vardon grip.
5. Gene Sarazen made an incredible par from a concession stand in 1931
He did hit his recovery through a window and onto the green of the par-three 4th hole at Scioto CC. But The Squire missed the 10-foot par putt to lose the hole. He did win the match over Fred Robson, 7&6.