Europe win Ryder Cup as the USA fail to impress

Europe have reclaimed the Ryder Cup after masterminding a remarkable victory over the USA at the weekend.

Luke Donald’s side won the prestigious competition at the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in style, beating their American opponents 16 ½ – 11 ½. The hosts were in control from the outset and finished both of the first two days with a five-point lead.

With the points shared during Sunday’s singles matches, Europe got their hands on the iconic cup for the first time in five years. The result means that the last five Ryder Cups have been won by the home side and the USA are still without a win on European soil since 1993.

The 2023 Ryder Cup story

With the embarrassment of a 19-9 defeat two years ago still fresh in the memory, Europe were keen to make an impression. And whatever Donald said in his pre-match teamtalk certainly seemed to work.

Europe dominated the foursomes on the morning of day one, going in for lunch 4-0 ahead for the first time in history. In fact, it was the first time Europe had held a lead after the first morning session since 2006 and they had barely broken a sweat, with the USA not leading at any point in any match.

Jon Rahm and Tyrell Hatton set the standard with a 4&3 win over Scottie Scheffler and Sam Burns and their team-mates followed suit. Rickie Fowler had a disappointing weekend and a missed putt from eight yards in the third match summed up his experience.

Team USA rallied for the afternoon fourballs and the points were shared in the first three matches. But Matt Fitzpatrick claimed his first Ryder Cup point alongside Rory McIlroy in a 5&3 win over Collin Morikawa and Xander Schauffele, giving Europe a 6 ½ – 1 ½ advantage.

It seems the USA didn’t learn from their day one mistakes as Europe once again started strongly in the foursomes. Only Shane Lowry and Sepp Straka didn’t claim a point in another dominant session that the hosts claimed 3-1.

But Donald’s side were pegged back after lunch. The USA came out on top in the Saturday fourballs, with Burns and Morikawa claiming the first point of the afternoon. A 3-1 win for the visitors levelled the day but still left them with a lot to do going into the final day, with Europe 10 ½ – 5 ½ ahead.

Sunday’s agenda was 12 singles matches and with Europe needing just four points to win, Rahm went head-to-head with world no.1 Scheffler in the first face-off of the day. It was a battle for the ages as the pair matched one another, continuously swapping the lead.

Scheffler had the chance to claim the point on the 17th but he failed to take it, missing the hole from 15 yards. And as Rahm pulled it back to claim a half point, Europe started to close in on a famous victory.

Viktor Hovland claimed the first win of the day against Morikawa and the points went back and forth for another four matches. With Europe needing just half a point to win, the USA held firm and claimed three consecutive wins through Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Schaffele.

But the stubborn Americans were unable to stop the inevitable and the Ryder Cup was eventually settled. Captain’s pick Tommy Fleetwood went two up against Fowler on the 16th, taking Europe over the magic 14 ½ points.

Fleetwood went on to win, as did Robert MacIntyre, and with Lowry sharing the spoils in his match, Europe eventually ran out 16 ½ – 11 ½ winners. They’ve now won eight of the last 11 Ryder Cups and with the competition heading to New York in two years’ time, they’ll have their sights on a first away victory since 2012.

PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND - JULY 21: Tommy Fleetwood of England plays a shot on the second hole during the final round of the 148th Open Championship held on the Dunluce Links at Royal Portrush Golf Club on July 21, 2019 in Portrush, United Kingdom. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

The Open Championships

Who shone for Team Europe?

The victory was very much a team effort, with almost everybody on top form. Hatton, MacIntyre and Rahm all finished unbeaten, claiming nine points between them.

McIlroy was Europe’s highest points scorer with four as he won four of his five matches, with his only defeat coming in the Saturday fourballs. Similarly, Hovland more than played his part. The Norwegian secured 3 ½ points in his five matches and set the tone by claiming Europe’s first singles victory on Sunday.

Nicolai Højgaard was a captain’s pick and will have been hoping for a better Ryder Cup debut. The Dane lost two of his three matches, claiming just half a point in Friday’s fourballs.

Where did it go wrong for the USA?

Having dominated the 2021 Ryder Cup, Team USA looked a shadow of their former selves in a limp showing in Italy. Nobody in their team went unbeaten and their main man Scheffler didn’t win any of his four matches. The 27-year-old earned just two half points and set the tone for a forgettable American showing.

In the same vein, Jordan Spieth lost two and halved two of his four matches. Fowler was drafted in as a captain’s pick but failed to justify his selection, losing both of his games and returning zero points.

America’s main bright spark was Max Homa, who secured 3 ½ points from his five matches. Meanwhile, Open champion Brian Harman won twice and lost twice on his Ryder Cup debut.

Watch golf in style with Engage

If you loved the Ryder Cup and fancy taking in some live action, we’re already taking bookings for exclusive hospitality packages at next year’s and 2025’s Open Championship.

And if you play yourself, why not join us at one of our ICON golf days in 2024? Get in touch for more information.

The Ryder Cup: Can Europe get the better of the USA?

After a gruelling season going toe-to-toe with one another, it’s almost time for the world’s best golfers to team up and battle for one of the most prestigious trophies in sport – the Ryder Cup.

The showpiece event gets underway on Friday 29th September, with three mouth-watering days of golf coming to a close on Sunday 1st October. This time around it’s Europe’s turn to host at the beautiful Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome.

Team Europe are looking to get revenge having been comfortably beaten last time out. The USA side cruised to a 19-9 victory in Wisconsin two years ago, which was the biggest Ryder Cup winning score since 1967.

Who will win the Ryder Cup?

While Team USA haven’t won in Europe for 30 years, they go into the competition as slight favourites. Europe have won seven of the last 10 meetings but they face stiff competition this time around.

There are a total of 28 points up for grabs across a series of foursome, four-ball and singles matches. Either side needs 14.5 points to win but a tie would see holders Team USA retain their crown.

TROON, SCOTLAND - JULY 15: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits from a bunker on the 12th hole during the second round on day two of the 145th Open Championship at Royal Troon on July 15, 2016 in Troon, Scotland. (Photo by Jan Kruger/R&A/R&A via Getty Images)

Team Europe

World number two Rory McIlroy qualified for Team Europe automatically following a strong run of form this season. The 34-year-old won the Scottish Open back in July, finishing just one shot ahead of Ryder Cup team-mate Robert MacIntyre.

They’ll be joined by Masters winner Jon Rahm, while Viktor Hovland, Tyrell Hatton and Matt Fitzpatrick also made the cut for captain Luke Donald’s side.

Tommy Fleetwood narrowly missed out on automatic qualification but he’ll still be part of the team as a captain’s pick alongside fellow Brit Justin Rose. Seppa Straka has also been chosen by Donald after tying for second at The Open.

The final three captain spots went to Ludvig Åberg, Nicolai Højgaard and Shane Lowry.

Team USA

Brian Harman is set to make his Ryder Cup debut after defying the odds to win The Open back in July. He was a 125-1 outsider prior to the tournament in Liverpool but he played like a champion throughout and he’ll be looking to continue his good form in Rome.

Harman will be joined by world number one Scottie Scheffler, who won this year’s Players Championship and was Team USA’s first automatic pick. US Open winner Wyndham Clark also qualified via the points system, alongside Patrick Cantlay, Xander Schauffele and Max Homa.

Captain Zach Johnson has called on this year’s PGA Championship winner Brooks Koepka, as well as Rocket Mortgage Classic champion Rickie Fowler. Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Collin Morikawa and Sam Burns make up the rest of the captain’s picks.

Despite vice-captain Fred Couples announcing that Cameron Young would be part of the side, the 26-year-old has not been selected for the final team.

Watch golf in style with Engage

If you’re glued to the TV during the Ryder Cup and fancy taking in some live action, we’re already taking bookings for exclusive hospitality packages at next year’s Open Championship.

And if you play yourself, why not join us at one of our ICON golf days in 2024? Get in touch for more information.

ICON Golf Day: Everything you need to know

The ultimate golf day is just around the corner! We’re counting down the days to one of the biggest events in our calendar – the 2023 ICON Golf Day.

This year’s event takes place on Wednesday 20th September at The Grove, the iconic golf course situated in the beautiful Hertfordshire countryside.

We’re looking forward to welcoming people from all over the country for a day that promises celebrity guests, mouth-watering food and, most importantly, a competitive round of golf.

What to expect on the day

The Grove is located just 18 miles from London and we’re delighted to bring our famous ICON Golf Day to its beautiful surroundings, which is the former home of the Earls of Clarendon.

Our guests will enjoy exclusive use of the clubhouse and golf facilities at The Grove, as well as a bespoke 18-hole menu from innovative chef Jimmy Garcia. There will be food and drink facilities on every hole, as well as an on-course DJ to keep the party going throughout the day. All you need to do is bring your golf clubs!

Golf professionals will be on hand to offer coaching tips to our guests, who will have access to the driving range and putting green to put their new skills into practice.

Keep your eyes peeled for celebrity appearances and ‘beat the ICON’ competitions, as well as plenty of other opportunities to win prizes. Including our hole-in-one hole.

On our ICON Golf Day at The Grove in May 2022, we saw an unbelievable hole-in-one which saw our guest pick up a brand new car. It was his first ever hole-in-one and what a time to do it, on our specifically designated prize hole.

It was a euphoric moment on the course and one that he and we will never forget. Fancy your chances at bagging an ace?

Golf Day Hole in One Winner with Car
Golf Day Hole in One Winner with Car

The Grove

The Grove is home to one of the world’s most scenic golf courses, situated within 300 acres of British countryside. It hosted the British Masters back in 2016 and was the scene of a 2006 World Golf Championship event, which was won by Tiger Woods.

Barack Obama has played at The Grove and he joins a long list of celebrities to have tried their hand on the course. The likes of Andy Cole, Chris Robshaw, Ryan Sidebottom, Danny Mills, Matt Prior, Mark Foster, Micky Hazard and DJ Spoony have all previously been guests at our ICON Golf Day.

As well as the championship golf course, The Grove is home to a luxury hotel, an award-winning spa, several state-of-the-art restaurants and a host of activities for guests of all ages.

The Grove is just a 20-minute train from London, followed by a short taxi ride from Watford Junction. It can also be accessed via mainline services from Birmingham New Street and Manchester Piccadilly.

Don’t miss out next year

Our ICON Golf Day is always one of the best and most popular days in the Engage calendar. If you’re joining us on the day we can’t wait to see you there but if you’re not, sadly all of the places for this year have been filled.

Luckily, our next event is just around the corner and there are still limited spaces for our ICON Golf Day in May. Plus, we’ll be hosting another one in September 2024.

It truly is an unforgettable day so if it sounds like something you’d like to be a part of, don’t hesitate to get in touch with bookings on 0207 048 4848 to reserve your place.

May 2024
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Who Will Fire Their Team to Ryder Cup Glory?

The golf majors may be over for another year but don’t worry, there’s some good news on the horizon. The Ryder Cup swings into action next month and the world’s best players have been doing everything they can to be selected for the teams.

Brian Harman did his chances of making the USA team no harm as he shocked the world to win The Open last month. Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy is back to his best and he’ll be hoping to help captain Luke Donald bring the Ryder Cup back to Europe.

Ahead of the iconic competition getting underway in Italy, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know.

Brian Harman swings into Ryder Cup contention

A few weeks ago, Harman wouldn’t have been on USA captain Zach Johnson’s radar. But the American looks set to make his Ryder Cup debut next month after masterminding a fairytale win at The Open.

Harman won the Claret Jug back in July after finishing 13 under at a rain-soaked Royal Liverpool. The 36-year-old was a 125-1 shot before the tournament but being an outsider didn’t seem to faze him. Harman’s lead never dropped below three all weekend and he’s just the third ever left-handed Open champion.

McIlroy finished six under in a good showing as he continued his strong form having won the Scottish Open the week before. He beat Scotsman Robert MacIntyre by one after hitting an incredible 200-yarder to set up a crucial birdie on the 18th.

McIlroy is now second in the world rankings and is the first ever player to win The Open, the Scottish Open and the Irish Open.

All eyes are now on the Ryder Cup, with the four majors done and dusted for another year. Jon Rahm won the Masters while Brooks Koepka came out on top in the PGA Championship. McIlroy came close to winning the US Open in June but he lost out to Wyndham Clark by one shot.

AIG Women's Open - Day Four

Golf Hospitality

Everything you need to know about the Ryder Cup

The Ryder Cup returns to Europe this summer and it’s the turn of the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club near Rome to host. The famous competition takes place from Friday 29th September to Sunday 1st October and Europe are looking to reclaim the cup from the USA, who won 19-9 in Wisconsin two years ago.

Each team will consist of 12 players, with slightly different selection criterias for each. Donald will captain Europe and his side will be made up of the top three players based on European points, the top three based on World points and six players of his own choice.

USA captain Johnson will lead the top six players based on qualification points and again will choose the other six.

The first two days of golf will consist of four foursome matches and four four-ball matches. The Ryder Cup will then conclude on the final day with 12 singles matches. Overall, there are 28 points on offer. Teams need 14.5 points to win the Ryder Cup but in the event of a tie, USA will retain the cup as holders.

Which players are likely to qualify for the Ryder Cup?

Two of the European spots are already secured. McIlroy’s impressive form of late puts him top of the rankings and he’ll be looking to be on the winning side for the fifth time. Rahm will also be in the team after tying for second with seven under at The Open.

As it stands MacIntyre is in pole position to make the cut. He sits third in the European points rankings following his fine showing at the Scottish Open. The front runners in the World points ranking are currently Viktor Hovland and Tyrrell Hatton, who were in the team last time out, as well as Tommy Fleetwood.

For the USA, world number one Scottie Scheffler is guaranteed to be on the plane. Elsewhere, Clark and Harman are expected to make their Ryder Cup debuts following their major wins this year.

Brooks Koepka, Xander Schauffele and Patrick Cantlay make up the rest of the top six and will be in the team as it stands. But both sides will not be named for a while (Europe on 3rd September and USA on 20th August) so there’s still time for the rankings to change.

Who could be the captain picks?

Adrian Meronk should make the cut for Europe after a strong season. The 30-year-old scored an impressive 67 in the final round at The Open and won the Italian Open earlier this year. He’s also had five top five finishes so will undoubtedly be on Donald’s radar.

Austrian Sepp Straka tied for second at The Open so should be a shoo-in, while Yannik Paul is currently fourth in the European points rankings. Elsewhere, Shane Lowry, Justin Rose and Matt Fitzpatrick could be considered.

While no captain picks have officially been announced for the USA, vice-captain Fred Couples has already let slip some of the names that will be on the team. During an interview last week, he revealed that Jordan Spieth, Max Homa and Cameron Young will all be included.

Rickie Fowler will be considered, having won the Rocket Mortgage Classic, as well as finishing in the top five at the US Open. Keegan Bradley and Collin Morikawa are also currently in the top 12 of the US rankings so will be looking to impress Johnson over the coming weeks.

The Open and Scottish Open: A memorable week of British Golf

Competitors and spectators from every corner of the globe braved the unpleasant UK weather conditions to take part in and experience two world class golf competitions as The Scottish Open and The Open played out. Two competitions that saw the best of the best battle out over four rounds to see who could be crowned the Scottish Open Champion and the 151st Open Champion.

The Scottish Open

Over a rain soaked few days in North Berwick it was Rory McIlroy who came out on top as The Renaissance Club was treated to a scintillating finish. The Northern Irishman birdied the last two holes in an exciting finish as he edged out fellow Brit Robert MacIntyre. His first win in Scotland, McIlroy set himself up well for the Open at Hoylake with a win that showed his class in typical Links course conditions.

In a field of high calibre, it was Scotsman Robert MacIntyre who set the pace as he finished his fourth round -14 shooting an impressive 64 in pretty treacherous conditions. With $9,000,000 worth of prize money up for grabs all MacIntyre could do was sit and wait for McIlroy to finish his round.

Unfortunately for MacIntyre, his excellent fourth round wasn’t enough as McIlroy’s brilliance shone through with a birdie putt on the 17th to draw level and another on the 18th to snatch the trophy out of the Scotsman’s hands in front of his home crowd.

It was the South Korean Byeong Hun An who got off to a flying start in his first round as he shot a course record equalling 61, finding himself with a three shot lead over McIlroy on the first day. However, after two level par rounds he found himself slip into joint third alongside Open favourite Scottie Scheffler and Swede David Lingmerth.

Other British high finishers included Tommy Fleetwood and Tyrell Hatton in 6th place as they both finished -9. Fleetwood looked to be closing the gap on McIlroy but faded in the last couple of holes as he also prepared for the Open at Royal Liverpool as one of the favourites. Fellow Open favourite, Viktor Hovland, found himself finishing -5 in a disappointing 25th place. The Norwegian had poor first and fourth rounds to see his hopes of a confidence booster ahead of the Liverpool challenge diminished.

Although Robert MacIntyre didn’t get the result he wanted in the end, he must be credited for some stunning golf on a day where conditions could have ruined anybody’s day. He proved that he could challenge and compete with the very best and will be a prospect to watch out for in years to come.

145th Open Championship - Day Two

The Open Championship 2024

The Open

So could McIlroy do it? Well it was another nail-biting four days of action as the players travelled to Merseyside to battle it out for the final major of the year and the 151st Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Course. Unfortunately, for McIlroy the wait for his first major since 2014 will have to wait as the weekend belonged to American Brian Harman as he won emphatically to secure his first major competition.

Another weekend where conditions were less than ideal, challenged players and was representative of more typical links course conditions. However, even the British wind and rain wasn’t enough to stop some of the world’s best to battle the elements and challenge for the Claret Jug.

Amateur Christo Lamprecht was a surprise leader after his first round when he shot a 66 to top the leaderboard for much of the day but Tommy Fleetwood and Emiliano Grillo quickly equalled that score. The South African was competing in his first major competition and at only 22, he looks to have an extremely promising career ahead of him. However, his lack of experience showed after day one as he finished +11.

A poor showing from Scottish Open runner up Robert MacIntyre also saw him well down the leaderboard at +10. Similarly, pre-Championship favourite Brooks Koepka also found himself finishing a disappointing +8. Perhaps the challenging conditions proving an obstacle for some?

But it didn’t seem to phase Brian Harman as he led from his second round to the finish with some superb golf played. There were times when others threatened with Jon Rahm shooting the best round of the competition at 63 in his third round as well as Sepp Straka looking promising.

But none could get close to the American, as Harman reigned supreme, 6 shots clear of his fellow competitors at -13. He left the rest of the competition to jostle for second as Rahm, Straka, Jason Day and Tom Kim all finished on -7.

In terms of British contingent, Rory McIlroy was the highest Briton with a joint sixth place finish alongside Argentinian Emiliano Grillo at -6. Not the result the Northern Irishman hoped for but a respectable finish nonetheless. Tommy Fleetwood, one of the favourites before play, finished a frustrating joint tenth -4 after a very good first round of 66 alongside local man Matthew Jordan in only his second ever Major.

So a new name held aloft the Claret Jug as Brian Harman was the comfortable winner of the final Major of the year. Despite Rory McIlroy’s heightened confidence after his win at The Renaissance Club earlier in the week, his good form wasn’t enough to carry him through to win his 5th Major as the favourites were blown away by Harman.

Summer in Full Swing: British Golf Takes Centre Stage

Back to back weeks of golf on home soil in July

A mouth-watering summer of sport is well and truly underway and if you’re a fan of golf, you’re in for a treat over the next few weeks. That’s because we’ve got not one but two huge tournaments on British soil to look forward to.

First up, the Scottish Open returns to the Renaissance Club from 13th to 16th July, with eight of the world’s top 10 players signed up to take part. And if that’s not enough to get you excited, the fourth and final major of the year gets underway the following weekend as the 151st Open Championship takes place in Liverpool.

Rory McIlroy will be looking to continue his strong form as he targets his first Open title since 2014, which was the last time it was held at Royal Liverpool. But he’ll face stiff competition in both tournaments as he targets his first PGA Tour win of 2023.

The Open Championship

Who are the contenders?

With the majority of the world’s top 10 players set to appear at the Scottish Open, the standard will be incredibly high as the field look to get into the swing of things ahead of The Open the following weekend.

Xander Schauffele came out on top this time last year but he’ll be taken all the way by fellow American Scottie Scheffler, who currently sits top of the world rankings. Wyndham Clarke is also in good shape having won the US Open in June, as well as the Wells Fargo Championship.

Norwegian star Viktor Hovland tied for second with Scheffler in the PGA Championship before going on to win the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village. Elsewhere, Patrick Cantlay, Max Homa and Jordan Spieth, who all sit in the top 10, will fancy their chances.

And with McIlroy expected to be among the frontrunners, a few other British golfers could make home advantage count. Matt Fitzpatrick won the RBC Heritage back in April, while Tyrrell Hatton, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose are all in line to play both tournaments.

Cameron Smith triumphed in The Open last year and while the Australian is expected to return again this year, he’s not scheduled to appear at the Scottish Open, as is the case with John Rahm.

Can Rory McIlroy win?

McIlroy has never won the Scottish Open so a maiden title north of the border will give him good momentum going into The Open a week later. The Northern Irishman remains one of the bookies’ favourites as he looks to improve on his third-place finish from last year.

Having come second to Clarke by just one shot in the US Open a few weeks ago, McIlroy is in strong form. He’s already triumphed in the Rolex Series this year, winning the Hero Dubai Desert Classic back in January, while he was also tied for second alongside Harris English in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

McIlroy is targeting his first major win since 2014, where he triumphed in the PGA Championship a month after his first win at The Open. And he’ll be keen to impress once again as he looks to cement a spot in Europe’s Ryder Cup team later this year.

Engage Hospitality

As the best golfers in the world jet to the UK for a blockbuster couple of weeks, you can enjoy the action in style with a range of hospitality experiences at the Scottish Open.

A week later, The Open Championship takes place from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd July. Experience the best hospitality golf has to offer, with on-course locations offering unique access to the players and a world-class range of food and drinks packages.

How many majors will Rory McIlroy win in 2023?

World Number two Rory McIlroy will be hoping to complete the career Grand Slam at this year’s 87th Masters at Augusta National from April 6-9.

The Northern Irishman is bidding to join the likes of Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods as winners of golf’s all four majors.

His last major victories were in 2014 when he claimed the Open Championship and PGA Championship, but since then it has been a case of near misses for McIlroy at majors.

The Open Championship

The 2023 golf season so far…

However, the three-time PGA Tour Player of the Year has started the 2023 season in promising form with a victory at the Hero Dubai Desert Classic on the European Tour. He birdied the final two holes to narrowly beat Patrick Reed by one shot in a thrilling climax.

McIlroy will be further buoyed after his promising final round at Augusta in 2022 when a bogey-free score of 64 saw him jump from ninth to finish as runner-up in the Masters – he’ll be hoping to go one step further this year.

A recap on the 2022 golf season

In 2022 the green jacket was won by American Scottie Scheffler, and the 26-year-old World Number one has carried his good form over into 2023. In February, Scheffler successfully defended his title at the WM Phoenix Open – he shot a final round 6-under 65 to beat Nick Taylor by two strokes.

Scheffler followed the Phoenix Open with victory at The Players Championship by five strokes, and, in doing so joined Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as the only players to win the Masters Tournament and The Players Championship in a 12-month span.

Joining McIlroy and Scheffler as Masters contenders is former US Open champion Jon Rahm. In February Rahm won the Genesis Invitational, his fifth title in his last nine tournaments worldwide solidifying him as one of the most in-form golfers in the lead-up to Augusta. Last year, Rahm finished the Masters tied for 27th place, bringing a run of four consecutive top-10 finishes to an end.

Rory McIlroy’s career

McIlroy has enjoyed a storybook career so far, one that started when he was just 7 years old when he was the youngest member at the Holywood Golf Club. A decade later he was top of the World Amateur rankings and by 2009, he was winning tournaments on the European Tour.

Before he claimed a Major title, McIlroy’s crowning glory on the world stage was at the 2010 Ryder Cup at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, Wales. With the U.S. as the defending champions, Europe won by a score of 14.5 to 13.5 and won the Cup. The 21-year-old contributed two points for the Europeans, most notably in the foursomes when he was partnered with fellow Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell.

A year later McIlroy won his first Major – the U.S. Open, finishing ahead of Jason Day by eight strokes. McIlroy set several records with his victory, most notably, his 72-hole aggregate score of 268 (16-under) was a new U.S. Open record.

In 2012, McIlroy was a key part of arguably the greatest comeback in Ryder Cup history. At the start of the final day’s play, the U.S. led 10–6 and required 4.5 points to win; Europe required 8 points to retain the cup and 8.5 to win it outright. Europe won eight and tied one of their remaining 12 singles matches, including McIlroy’s victory over Keegan Bradley.

Two years later, McIlroy achieved the highlight of his career so far, by winning the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool. He defeated Rickie Fowler and Sergio García by two strokes to claim his third Major title. In doing so, McIlroy became the third European to win three different Majors and joined Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as one of three golfers since the first Masters Tournament in 1934 to win three majors by the age of 25.

Undoubtedly, McIlroy is one of Northern Ireland’s greatest exports, and he will have the backing of an entire nation from the first tee to the final putt at this year’s Augusta.

The luck of the Irish in sport

It has been a good year for Irish sport so far, most notably in Rugby Union, with Ireland winning the Six Nations with a Grand Slam. Andy Farrell’s side are the number-one ranked nation in the world and are hotly tipped to win the World Cup in France this Autumn.

Meanwhile, the Irish dominated once again at the Cheltenham Festival with 18 wins over the course of the week, compared to just 10 from the UK.

And, in the world of boxing, Ireland’s Katie Taylor will look to become a two-weight world champion when she takes on the light-welterweight champion, England’s Chantelle Cameron, at the 3Arena in Dublin on May 20 for her first professional fight in Ireland.

However, McIlroy will surely top the list of Irish success stories with a victory at Augusta, and in doing so, cap off a glorious career with a career Grand Slam.

Why 2023 will be a blockbuster year in golf

2022 was a year full of drama in golf, both on and off the course. The three-way tug of war for golf’s biggest stars between the PGA, DP World Tour and the Saudi-backed LIV Golf has divided players and fans alike.

It’s the kind of situation more commonly-associated with professional boxing with its litany of sanctioning bodies, but, unlike boxing, it seems there will be no unification with the LIV anytime soon.

Among the stars to have joined the LIV tour include several major champions and former world number ones: Dustin Johnson, Sergio García, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel and Lee Westwood.

In a Washington Post interview published on 5 June 2022, LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said that Tiger Woods had declined to join, turning down a deal that was “mind-blowingly enormous; we’re talking about high nine digits.”

The best of the 2022 golf season

On the fairways, one of the enduring images of the 2022 golf season was at the 150th Open Championship – the home of golf. The tournament was particularly poignant for Tiger Woods, as he walked down the fairway of the 18th hole to rapturous applause. This was most likely the last time Woods contests The Open at St Andrews, a course he has mastered like few others.

In the end, the Claret Jug was claimed by 28-year-old Australian Cameron Smith, in one of the great final rounds in Majors history, an unequalled eight-under-par to defeat Cameron Young by one and former champion Rory Mcllroy by two.

Smith was the third man to win his first-ever major championship last year after Scottie Scheffler and Matt Fitzpatrick’s maiden wins at The Masters and US Open respectively.

The first major of the year will be contested in April – The Masters in Augusta. Many eyes will be on Rory Mcllroy as he bids to finally claim a career grand slam, a feat only Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods have achieved.

Meanwhile, in September, Team Europe will be hoping for revenge against Team USA in the Ryder Cup. The tournament will be in Italy for the first time, and, with home advantage, Europe will look to improve on their 19-9 defeat in 2021, the biggest margin of defeat since 1979. Henrik Stenson was the initial choice for Team Europe’s captain but he was replaced in August last year by Luke Donald following Stenson’s decision to sign up for the LIV tour.

When and where are the 2023 Golf Majors?

The Masters

Augusta National Golf Club, Georgia

April 6 – 9

The Masters is the first major of the year, and unlike the others, it is always held at the same location – the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. The tournament is regarded as one of the most prestigious in the sport, and, this year, will debut the controversial 13th hole in its new, enlarged format.

The course features some of the most famous holes in golf, including the par-3 12th hole, surrounded by water with its challenging tee shot.

The 2022 iteration was won by American Scottie Scheffler who narrowly defeated Rory Mcllroy by three strokes.

One of the most famous recent memories of The Masters came in 2019 when Tiger Woods claimed his 5th Masters title, 14 years after his last and his first major since 2008.

Golf Day

The Open Championship

PGA Championship

Oak Hill Country Club, New York

May 18-21

Held the weekend before Memorial Day, the PGA Championships has been one of the most significant dates in the golfing calendar since the tournament was first established in 1916.

Last year the trophy was claimed by American Justin Thomas, the only major winner in 2022 to have previously won one.

The last non-American winner was in 2015  when Australian Justin Day lifted The Wanamaker Trophy, defeating Jordan Spieth by three strokes.

US Open

Los Angeles Country Club, California

June 15-18

The US Open is the third of the four major championships in golf, and is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour. Since 1898 the competition has been 72 holes of stroke play (4 rounds on an 18-hole course), with the winner being the player with the lowest total number of strokes.

As of 2022, the U.S. Open awards a $17.5 million purse, the largest of all four major championships. Last year, the trophy was claimed by Englisman Matt Fitzpatrick who defeated Scottie Scheffler and Will Zalatoris by a single stroke.

Unlike other majors the US Open is open to any professional, or to any amateur with a USGA Handicap Index not exceeding 1.4. Players (male or female) may obtain a place by being fully exempt or by competing successfully in qualifying. The field is 156 players. About half of the field is made up of players who are fully exempt from qualifying.

The Open

Royal Liverpool Golf Club, England

July 20-23

Founded in 1860 The Open is the oldest golf tournament in the world. The reigning champion is Australian Cameron Smith, who won the 2022 Open at St Andrews with a score of 268.

In 2000, Tiger Woods, having just won the U.S. Open, became champion by a post-war record 8 strokes to become the youngest player to win the career Grand Slam at age 24. After winning the 2002 Masters and U.S. Open, he became the latest American to try to emulate Ben Hogan and win the Open in the same year. His bid came to a halt on Saturday with the worst round of his career up to that time, an 81 (+10) in cold, gusty rain. He went on to win again back-to-back in 2005 and 2006 to bring his total to three wins.

One of the Open’s most recent memorable moments came in 2009 when 59-year-old American Tom Watson led the tournament through 71 holes and needed just a par on the last hole to become the oldest ever winner of a major championship. Watson eventually lost a four-hole playoff to fellow American Stewart Cink.

Ryder Cup

Marco Simone Golf and Country Club, Italy

September 25 – October 1

The Ryder Cup may not technically be a major but it’s arguably the most famous golf tournament in the world.

Originally contested between Great Britain and the United States, the first official Ryder Cup took place in the United States in 1927 at Worcester Country Club in Worcester, Massachusetts. The home team won the first five contests, but with the competition’s resumption after the Second World War, repeated American dominance eventually led to a decision to extend the representation of Great Britain and Ireland to include continental Europe from 1979.

The 2021 Ryder Cup was held on the Straits course at Whistling Straits, Haven, Wisconsin, from 24 to 26 September 2021. The United States defeated Europe 19–9, to clinch the largest margin of victory in the modern history of the event.

One of the best Ryder Cup clashes in recent memory came in 2012 at the Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Illinois. Under captain José María Olazábal of Spain; the Europeans were down 10-4 after 14 matches, with two four-ball matches still on the course and 12 singles matches to be played the next day. At the end of day two, Englishman Ian Poulter made five birdies on the final five holes to give him and Rory McIlroy the point over Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson of America. Despite being down 10-6 going into the final day, Europe came back to win by 14+1⁄2 points to 13+1⁄2. Out of the 12 points available on the final day Europe won 8+1⁄2 points with the U.S. winning only 3+1⁄2 points.

“A Golf Day like no other!”

Another Iconic day at The Grove

The weather was bright and the course was full as our clients kicked off another stunning day at The Grove on Wednesday 21 September.

The double shotgun format is perfect for our players to have a fun and competitive day out.

Check out last week’s highlights reel on Instagram and see what ICONs you can spot!

Highlights of our 2021 ICON Golf Day at The Grove

Stunning food on every hole!

The double shotgun format is perfect for our players to have a fun and competitive day out and with food on every single tee, you’ll want to take your time and savour all the great products from Jimmy Garcia.

Fantastic Drinks throughout and our on-course DJ!

Alongside of the food, the ICON Golf Day at The Grove will provide fun and interesting drinks throughout to keep you hydrated, as well a fantastic DJ on hole 11 to keep spirits high on the tee.

Our Hole in One Winner

Back in May 2022, one of our players managed the unbelievable feat of making a hole-in-one on the designated hole at The Grove to win the jackpot prize, equivalent of £50,000!

Hear his reaction to the fantastic achievement

Our ICONs are always in attendance playing some of our clients in the celebrity package option. Names from the sporting and entertainment world join us in what is a special day for everyone. Play one of the best courses in the country with a legend, you can’t beat it!

2023 ICON Golf Days

We have two ICON Golf Days at The Grove scheduled for 2023 and we can’t wait to have our guests there once more swinging with our ICONs.

Our clients continue to re-book this event year after year, resulting in just a few four balls available on the following days.

2023 ICON Golf Day Package Details

  • Four Balls can include a Celebrity Player
  • Optional stay at The Grove available
  • Specially designed 18 hole menu and drinks experience
  • Sports star appearances and ‘beat the celeb’ competitions
  • On course DJ
  • Win a car for a Hole-in-One challenge
  • Exclusive use of The Grove clubhouse and golf facilities
  • Valet parking
  • Use of the driving range, short game area and putting green
  • Personalised buggy and locker
  • Live electronic scoring
  • Post competition prize giving