The Ryder Cup is a golf trophy, donated by Samuel Ryder, which is awarded biennially in an event called the "Ryder Cup Matches" between teams from Europe and the United States. The competition is jointly administered by the PGA of America and the PGA European Tour, and is contested every two years, the venue alternating between courses in the United States and Europe.
The competition began following an exhibition match in 1926 between a team comprising American professionals against a similar one drawn from the British PGA on the East Course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey, UK. The first competition took place in 1927.
Early matches between the two sides were fairly even, but after the Second World War, repeated US dominance led to a decision to extend the representation of the British & Irish team to include continental Europe in 1979. This change was partly prompted by the success of a new generation of Spanish golfers of the time, including Severiano Ballesteros. He and Antonio Garrido became the first Spaniards to play in the event in 1979. Since then, Europe has included players from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, and Sweden.