Walker Cup

The Walker Cup – All you need to know

The R&A
29 Aug 23
2 mins

Great Britain and Ireland go head-to-head with the United States of America in the 49th Walker Cup Match later this week (2–3 September).

It is 100 years since the Walker Cup was first staged in St Andrews as the two sides – made up of ten leading male amateur golfers – prepare to battle it out on the historic Old Course, venue for The 150th Open last summer. Check out all you need to know below…

What is the Walker Cup?

Since 1922, top male amateurs representing the United States of America and Great Britain and Ireland have played in this biennial match play competition. It was started in the years following World War I with the aim of promoting the game of golf on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean and continues as a tradition celebrating friendly competition and sportsmanship between the United States Golf Association (USGA) and The R&A. The first Walker Cup match was held on 28–29 August 1922 at the National Golf Links of America in New York. The USA team, which included Bobby Jones and Francis Ouimet, won by a score of 8–4.

Why is it called the Walker Cup?

The International Challenge Trophy was donated in 1921 by USGA president George Herbert Walker. The press referred to the trophy as the ‘Walker Cup’ and the name remained. The United States of America leads the overall match record 38-9 with one match tied.

How many times has the Old Course hosted the match?

The Old Course in St Andrews is hosting the Walker Cup for a record ninth time and the first in nearly a half century. After hosting the second match 100 years ago in 1923, it again played host in 1926, 1934, 1938, 1947, 1955, 1971 and 1975. The last time it was held at the Old Course 48 years ago, the United States of America won 15½–8½ with a team that included that year's Amateur Champion Vinny Giles and future major champions Jerry Pate, Craig Stadler and Curtis Strange. Back in 1923, it was a closer competition in St Andrews, with the United States of America winning 6–5.

What is the format of the match on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 September?

  • Two days of foursomes and singles matches
  • Four morning foursomes matches both days
  • Eight singles matches on 2 September
  • Ten singles matches on 3 September
  • One full point awarded for a victory with a half-point for matches tied after 18 holes
  • USA needs 13 points to retain the Walker Cup after their victory at Seminole in 2021, GB&I needs 13½ points to reclaim it
  • The USA team have won the last three editions of the match, with the last GB&I win coming at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 2015 when they triumphed 16½ to 9½

Walker Cup Tickets - St Andrews 2023

The 49th Walker Cup will be staged over the Old Course in St Andrews in September 2023.    It is the most iconic golf course in the world and was host venue for The Open in 2022. It will be the first time the Walker Cup has been held over the Old Course since 1975. Tickets for both days can be bought individually, as well as the option of a weekend ticket.

Is there further spectator information?

If you are travelling to St Andrews by car or rail, please access further information for spectating here.

How can I watch the action?

The R&A will provide live broadcast coverage of the singles matches from 1.45pm on Saturday 2 September. This can be watched on The R&A’s website at www.randa.org (not in the USA). Live coverage of the eight singles matches from 1.45pm is also on Sky Sports Golf. The R&A will then provide live broadcast coverage of the singles matches from 1.15pm on Sunday 3 September. This can be watched on The R&A’s website at www.randa.org (not in the USA). Live coverage of the ten singles matches from 1.15pm is also on Sky Sports Golf. The commentary team across the two days of the match includes Brad Faxon, Steve Burkowski, Gary Wolstenholme, Andrew Cotter, Hally Leadbetter and George Harper Jnr. The action across the weekend can also be followed on the Golf Channel in the United States of America. Please also follow The R&A’s various social media platforms for regular updates.

Who are the most famous players to have competed in the Walker Cup?

United States of America Bobby Jones, Francis Ouimet, Ken Venturi, Jack Nicklaus, Fred Ridley, Jay Sigel, Corey Pavin, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, David Duval, Tiger Woods, Brian Harman, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Jordan Spieth, Max Homa, Justin Thomas, Bryson DeChambeau, Collin Morikawa, Scottie Scheffler. Great Britain and Ireland Roger Wethered, Bernard Darwin, Joe Carr, Sir Michael Bonallack, Clive Clark, Peter Oosterhuis, Howard Clark, Mark James, Sandy Lyle, Peter McEvoy, Colin Montgomerie, Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, Justin Rose, Nick Dougherty, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell, Rory McIlroy, Danny Willett, Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Robert MacIntyre.

To the future…

Since 1924, the Walker Cup has been played as a biennial competition with a hiatus from 1938 to 1947 due to World War II. The match is scheduled to be held in consecutive years in 2025 and 2026 for the first time in over a century to shift from odd-numbered back to even-numbered years. The 50th Walker Cup Match is staged at Cypress Point in California in September 2025.