Ryder Cup comes home to St Albans

Verulam Golf Club professional Joel Saunders in front of the simulator of the Ryder Cup course at Ha

Verulam Golf Club professional Joel Saunders in front of the simulator of the Ryder Cup course at Hazeltine - Credit: Archant

Golfers in St Albans have been given the opportunity to emulate the teams from Europe and the USA in the Ryder Cup – by tackling the Hazeltine course from the comforts of the founder’s club.

Samuel Ryder, a St Albans seed merchant, was captain at Verulam Golf Club in the early part of the last century.

And thanks to the arrival of the state-of-the-art golf simulator, golfers at the club can now tackle the Minnesota course themselves.

Members at the Verulam Golf Club in St Albans are lining up to pay £15 for the privilege of hitting shots over the front nine holes at Hazeltine on the simulator and tackle challenges faced by the likes of Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and Danny Willett.

And the club are running a month-long competition, which like the main event starts today, and the player with the lowest score will win a pair of golf shoes.

Club professional Joel Saunders said: “We’ve had a tremendous response to the nine-hole competition and the simulator is proving a great attraction at what we describe as the ‘home of the Ryder Cup’.

“We’re hoping for another European win, plus a record entry for our competition, with the winner’s name up in lights.”

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Samuel Ryder became a member at the Verulam Golf Club from 1909 and was Club Captain in 1911, 1926 & 1927.

The Ryder Cup was first played at the Worcester Country Club in Massachusetts in 1927 and members of the Great Britain team were entertained at the club prior to leaving for the United States.

The simulator, supplied by Foresight Sports Europe based in Guildford, provides accurate, true-to-life, 4K ready imagery of the Hazeltine course, including undulations and pin placements.

It directly measures the exact movement of the golf ball and club head using ultra-high speed cameras producing the most accurate ball flight in the industry.

Analysis showing the shots taken, distance travelled and remaining distance to the hole are then presented on the giant screen for the player, offering the most realistic indoor golfing experience.