2011 PGA Cup kicks off today at CordeValle

Many of you are asking yourselves, “what the heck is the PGA Cup?” Well, you’re not the only ones. It’s not one of the better known golf tournaments, because, rather than featuring PGA Tour professionals, the 10-man teams are made up of the top players of the Professional Golfers Association of Great Britain & Ireland (PGA) and America (PGA of America). These are the guys who fill the roles of teaching professionals, head professionals, assistants, etc..

The PGA Cup, in a nutshell, is the club professionals equivalent of the Ryder Cup. It’s a three day event, taking place biennially and are  hosted alternatively in GB&I and America. This year it’s taking place from September 16th-23rd, at the CordeValle Golf Club in California.

The format, like mentioned previously, is exactly identical to the Ryder Cup, a matchplay foursomes day, a four-ball day and finally a singles matchplay day.

The prize is the Llandudno Trophy, which is one of the more historic prizes in golf. It’s origins date back to before World War II. There’s a dent on lid but it wasn’t the fault of it’s owner at the time Percy Alliss. In 1939, a stray German bomb dropped near the first fairway of Ferndown Golf Club, less than 50 yards from the Alliss home, and the blast toppled the trophy off the mantelpiece putting a small dent in the lid. It resided in the Alliss family until Percy’s death in 1973 when it was donated it to the PGA where subsequently it has been competed for ever since.

The teams are selected by a points system that’s tallied over the two years, based on their players’ performance in their respective national championships with double points awarded in PGA Cup year. The top ten places in are invited to the teams.

This years teams can be found here.

2011 marks the 25th PGA Cup, and up to this year, the United States owns a 16-5-3 record in the competition that’s been going on for 38 years and they’ve never been defeated on home soil.

The PGA Cup has all the tension, all the excellent play and drama, but without 30,000 fans,” said PGA Honorary President Jim Remy of Ludlow, Vt., the USA Captain. “But I guarantee you that once the flags are raised, the national anthems played, the nerves come out on the first tee. The players do not know any differently. This becomes the Ryder Cup.

Here’s hoping that the US chalks another mark in the win column this year!

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