Beijing Ryder Cup

27 years ago a small but dedicated group of amateur golfers formed the “Sunday Golf League”, which by 1999 would grow to become what we now know as the Beijing Golfers Club. 

1995 also marked the inaugural “Beijing Ryder Cup”, where two teams from The Americas and the Rest of the World compete annually in a format that emulates the real Ryder Cup – with all the fun, challenges and pressures that come with it.

The Beijing Ryder Cup is a privilege enjoyed by only a few. For two days a year golf’s individual glory is set aside, with the winning team determined over three matchplay formats; Better Ball, Alternate Shot and Singles.

For the winner there is a perpetual trophy, honour and bragging rights; which is more than enough to ensure that whilst the tournament has a fiercely competitive edge, it’s always played within the finest traditions of golf and in the true spirit of friendship.

Although the BGC does not contribute to the costs of the tournament, the success and longevity of the competition is a tribute to the founders of the Club and all who have followed in their footsteps, a truly remarkable achievement for the fellowship of Beijing Golfers.

If you are interested in being involved as a player, sponsor or supporter, just inform the Captains.

The Captains for 2023 are:

  • Americas (Host): Dan Ciez (Vice Captains Jason Grubbs & James Hull)
  • Rest of the World: Bill Neenan (Vice Captains Michael Charlton & Markel Hubinette)

Player Eligibility & Handicaps:

Each team consists of 14 players. Americas players can be from any country in North, Central and South America. RoW players can be from any country other than North, Central and South America.

The teams may also nominate additional reserve players who can be substituted into the team in the event of injury or unavoidable unavailability to one of the original 14 players – substitutions can be made at any point prior to the start of an 18-hole match, subject to the agreement of both Captains that the change is being made in the proper spirit of golf.

12 of the players must meet the following requirements: 

  • Players must currently live in Beijing, Tianjin, or Hebei.
  • Players must be current, paid members of the Beijing Golfers Club with dues paid on or before the last Sunday in August (late season rates may apply)
  • Players must have filed a minimum of 10 scores from rounds played since the previous Ryder Cup event. Of these, at least 5 scores must be from regular BGC events. Note: A player just joining BGC with a USGA, R&A or World handicap may use historical rounds from their previous club to establish a BGC handicap, and if played since the last Ryder Cup would count towards the ten-round minimum requirement.
  • All handicaps will be rounded up or down to the nearest whole number prior to the draw – to clarify: –
    • Player A (hcap 11.4) & Player B (hcap 5.3) are paired together in Alternate
    • Their combined hcap would be calculated as 11 + 5 / 2 = 8
  • There is no maximum handicap, however no player will receive more than one shot per hole in any match – to clarify: –
    • Better Ball – Player A (1 hcap) & Player B (22 hcap) vs. Player C (3 hcap) & Player D (19 hcap)
    • All handicaps are taken from the lowest handicap player in the group, therefore in the above example Golfer A plays from 0, Golfer B plays from 18 (maximum 1-shot per hole), Golfer C from 2 and Golfer D from 18.
  • Handicaps will be locked (for Beijing Ryder Cup competition purpose only) based each player’s handicap two Sundays before the tournament – for example if the BGC Ryder Cup is scheduled to begin on Friday 23rd September, the handicaps would be locked by 11pm on Sunday 10th September.
  • If a player files an unusually high number of non-BGC event score cards in July and August compared to that players’ normal score card filing pattern, those scores will be disregarded if they result in a higher handicap but will be counted if they result in a lower handicap.
  • Two “wildcard players” are allowed with the following relaxed eligibility requirements:
  • Must hold a valid World, USGA or R&A handicap with round history available for peer review (per USGA and R&A rules).
  • Must have previously been a BGC Member that has previously participated in a Ryder Cup competition.
  • Note: Players should recognise that according to the WHS handicap system ALL golf round scores are to be posted in order to maintain a valid handicap.

Selection of Captains and Vice-Captains

The previous year’s Captain will make a recommendation to the BGC Committee for the following year’s Captaincy. The BGC Committee will then endorse the Captain based on recommendations from previous Captains and so far, the BGC Committee has passed all Captain candidates in the history of the Beijing Ryder Cup. However, the BGC Committee does reserve the right to refuse a Captaincy in case of justified concerns as to a candidate’s ability to uphold the ideals and spirit of the competition and the game of golf.

The approved Captain will elect his own Vice-Captains and the BGC Committee will then also endorse the Vice-Captains. Refusal of Vice Captain candidates will be on the same grounds as above, however, this has not happened yet in the history of the Beijing Ryder Cup.

Team Selection

In picking the team players, the Captains must follow and abide by:

  • Player eligibility criteria as outlined above
  • Captain’s responsibility to ascertain fairness of his selected player’s handicaps and upholding the ideals of golf (see below)

The Captains choose the team based on the potential to win. They will look throughout the BGC membership and based on how players perform in BGC events, and especially Match Play tournaments to determine if they are likely to benefit the team. The captains begin working on their teams late in the previous year and will start selecting potential players early in the season. Prior year players tend to be asked to play again, and traditionally winning team members are invited to return the following year, however team selection is entirely at the respective Captain’s discretion.

As you can see there is no strict rule about which golfers are to be selected. As long as the player is eligible, the team captain has the discretion to choose players. At the end of the day, the Captain’s responsibility is to pick a team that he judges have the best possible chance of winning!

Captain’s Responsibility:

When picking the team players, the Captain must take responsibility to:

  • Ascertain a player can live up to the obligation of the ideals of golf and understanding of the game and value of its traditions and sportsmanship
  • Ascertain that selected players have a correct handicap. Therefore, in cases of selected players that plays most of his golf outside BGC events that a) the BGC handicap is fair representation of the players golfing ability (as per handicap definitions) AND b) the BGC handicap is being updated with relevant other scores AND c) a possible second handicap is checked and used if lower.
  • Pro-actively suggest lowering a player’s handicap for cases where the Captain has information and believes his selected players official handicap is too high compared to the player’s ability.
  • Avoid selecting players for which the Captain cannot reasonably ascertain himself of the players handicap fairness.
  • Not to ask for a handicap increase of selected players. In the Beijing Ryder Cup, the USGA rules regarding temporary increase of handicaps due to slump in playing ability or medical conditions will not be considered or applied. It is the Captain’s choice to select or not select players that may temporarily not have the potential ability to play to their handicap for reasons of slump of form or medical conditions.
  • The principle of handicap accuracy of players is that the team Captain must take responsibility for this own team players. It should not be the job of the opposing team Captain to investigate the handicap accuracy of the players on the Captain’s team

Host Team

The Host team alternates every year. The host team Captain is responsible for:

  • Organising the Captain’s Dinner and venue
    • Date: 20th September
    • Venue/Theme: TBC/Luau
  • Nominating a BGC partner course for the event. Final course selection must be agreed to by the opposing captain whose consent shall not be unreasonably withheld
    • Date: Sept 22-23
    • Venue: Huatang Golf Club (TBC)
  • The Host Captain should make all reasonable endeavours to inform the other Captain about the following: –
    • Venue course (at least two months before the tournament)
    • Tee boxes (at least one month before the tournament) – 28th Aug
    • Pin positions (at least two weeks before the tournament) – 28th Aug
  • Organising the celebration/commiseration dinner for the Saturday evening on the first day of the competition for the Trophy Presentation
    • Date: 23rd September
    • Venue: Maison Flo

The BGC Committee can assist the ‘host Captain’ with practical matters including coordination with the golf and dinner venues.

 Competition Format

  • Friday: Morning Better Ball (7 matches) / Afternoon Alternate (7 matches)
  • Saturday: Singles (14 matches)

Competition Rules

The competition rules will be made clear during the Captains Dinner. As a default the competition will be played to the same rules as a standard BGC tournament, however, please note the Captains may agree to special rules for the Ryder Cup – for example “lost ball drop in the fairway with 2-shot penalty” may be amended to “lost ball must play again from the original spot under penalty of 1-shot (i.e. “stroke & distance”).

Captain’s Dinner

Takes place the last Wednesday before the Beijing Ryder Cup at a venue to be chosen by the hosting team. All players are invited and strongly encouraged to join. During the dinner, the teams will be introduced to each other and the competition draw will be completed

Drawing of Matches

The draw will be conducted in the following order, with a coin toss between the Captains determining which team is A and which is B. The winner of the coin toss has the option to be Team A or Team B.

  • Better Ball (A team offers first pairing)
  • Alternate (B team offers first pairing)
  • Singles (A team offers first player)