Ryder Cup European Development Trust Fund

Funding Grass Root Aid Across the Continent

When the Ryder Cup was restructured in 2004 with the formation of Ryder Cup Europe LLP, in partnership between the European Tour (60%), the PGA (20%) and the PGAs of Europe (20%), one of the important outcomes was the formation of the Ryder Cup European Development Trust.

The purpose of this UK-registered charity is to ensure that a portion of the net profits accrued from the Matches is absorbed into the Trust, thereby allowing aid to be distributed by means of grants for grass root schemes throughout Europe.

As a result of this initiative, a total figure of some €2.5M was available after the 36th matches at the K Club, Ireland, in 2006. Similar sums would confidently be expected to accrue in the future as an on-going means of community golf aid for this and future generations.

The first significant income accrued in the Ryder Cup European Development Trust in 2006 and as a result funding has now having been granted to projects of varying size in seven countries.

Once these resources were in place, applications were invited from all relevant countries, to be considered by the Trust committee. A number of PGAs, Federations and Unions responded to the request to formulate appropriate schemes and apply for a grant.

Prior to this, grants had been provided already in Germany and Ireland and subsequently in the UK, though the priority need emerged in the former Eastern Bloc, where golf is enjoying an enormous period of growth following the political changes that led to market economies being created.

Bulgaria and the Czech Republic have both been supported by the Trust in junior programmes that specifically encourage and help young people, boys and girls, to participate in golf while receiving basic coaching, either provided by, or supervised by, PGA professionals.

The Bulgarian scheme is regarded as an ideal insight to the purpose of the Trust and could be seen as role model for how the Ryder Cup surpluses can most effectively be used.

It was designed to “Introduce a new sport into the country to coincide with the popularity of the game world-wide”. The Junior Development Programme’s official brochure states that: “We believe that the game of golf (in Bulgaria) is ready to explode…”

Two PGA professionals, Neil Turley and Pascal Simard lead the coaching aspect of the scheme, which begins with youngsters at their earliest days of sporting development in schools.  Among the comprehensive programme’s aims are:

  • Provide support for golf sessions at schools
  • Develop a systematic and organised approach to junior golf
  • Develop individuals and teams to compete at international & European level.
  • Make the game accessible to all 

A whole ‘way ahead’ road map has been constructed, giving time scales under a ‘Junior Golf Passport’ idea. It starts with introducing the kids to golf with special appropriate clubs and balls for the very young and leading all the way, step by step, to possible selection for national teams.

Meanwhile, the vast majority who simply learn to play golf for fun, relaxation and exercise helped by the incentive of there being  new golf course developments on stream and the hope of many more in the future…thereby providing a lasting international legacy from the success of the Ryder Cup.

View our Ryder Cup European Development Trust Fund case studies to date...

Destination Golf