Beijing Ryder Cup

25 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 fourteen-man 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; Foursomes, Better Ball 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.

2019 marked the 25th anniversary of this coveted trophy. The success and longevity of the tournament 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.

Background

The Beijing Ryder Cup has been played every year since 1995. The idea has been to emulate the “real” Ryder Cup and so it has been done here in Beijing with the difference being it is the Americas vs. Rest of the World (RoW). The other primary difference is that while the “real” Ryder Cup is played every two years, in Beijing we play every year.

It has over the years become a prestige tournament where the urge to win is high. As golf is an individual sport usually rewarded after the principal “Less is better”, the Beijing Ryder Cup offers players to be part of a team, to play three different match play formats and all the fun, challenges and pressures that comes with it. There is no prize. There is no reward. To win earns the team member names on a perpetual trophy and nothing more.

Not everyone can participate. There are only 14 players on each team, but even if you do not play on a team, you can choose your team and go watch them battle it out over two days of intense competition. It all ends with a great celebration party. However, being a part of the team is a big commitment. The BGC does not contribute to the costs of the tournament. Players must be prepared to participate in practice rounds, and to pay for all of the costs of the tournament rounds, uniforms and associated events; these costs can be significant. It is a serious tournament and to be considered for the tournament the players must be just as serious about everything they do.

It is a great tournament and fun to be a part of even if you don’t play for a team. You can rally behind either the Americas or the Rest of the World, and root them on to win the Cup! Read on and see if you might be interested in participating either in logistics, playing on a team, or even just watching great golf played by other members of the Beijing Golfers Club.

If you are interested in being involved, as a player or otherwise, be sure to let the captains know.

The Captains for 2020 are:

  • Rest of the World: Ernest Aguilar
  • Americas: Gary Clarkin

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. 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 players will compete on a maximum handicap of 18
  • Handicaps will be locked (for Beijing Ryder Cup competition purpose only) based on the player handicap computed as of the last Sunday of August.
  • 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 USGA Handicap Manual Section 5.1 and 5.2, ALL golf round scores are to be posted in order to maintain a valid handicap. For more information about acceptability of scores go to www.usga.org/playing/handicaps/manual/manual.html

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, but this is not absolute.

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
  • 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
  • Organising the celebration/commiseration dinner for the Saturday evening on the first day of the competition for the Trophy Presentation

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

 Competition Format

  • Friday: Morning Four-ball (7 matches) / Afternoon Foursomes (7 matches)
  • Saturday: Individual (14 matches)

Captain’s Dinner & Drawing of Matches

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