ORLANDO - Arnold Palmer, his group of companies and the Golf Coaches Association of America have announced they have entered into an agreement to jointly operate and expand the Palmer Cup beginning with its playing June 26-28 at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England.
"The Golf Coaches Association of America have done a wonderful job of stewarding this event since its inception in 1997 and our involvement will only assist in continuing to grow and expand its importance on the collegiate and amateur golf calendar in the US and overseas," said Palmer, whose legendary career inspired the creation of the event.
First held at Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge in 1997, The Palmer Cup is an annual ten-man team golf competition between American college golfers and their European counterparts. The Palmer Cup is played in the same style and a similar format to the Ryder Cup, arguably the premier team event in professional golf. Mr. Palmer created and gave his name to the event because of a desire to support the college game as well as it having natural links to his great Ryder Cup career. It is hardly surprising that 19 competitors in the Palmer Cup have gone on to represent Europe or the USA in the Ryder Cup and over 40 have claimed victory on the PGA or European Tours. What is surprising is that this has happened in such a relatively short space of time.
"I was honored to play in the Palmer Cup twice, 2004 and 2005," said Matt Every, winner of the 2014 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard and two-time Palmer Cup participant. "When I was selected to the team in 2004 it showed me that I was on the right track with my game. Being part of such a prestigious event and to play venues like Ballybunion and Whistling Straits gave me the confidence and belief that I could reach the PGA TOUR. It is one of the best events I have ever been a part of and is something every collegiate player should strive to be a part of. Everything Mr. Palmer does is first class and for me to go from a two-time Palmer Cup member to winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard is truly special."
In addition to Bay Hill and Walton Heath, the list of courses that have hosted the Palmer Cup are some of the finest in the game. The Old and New Courses at St. Andrews, The Honors Course, Royal Liverpool, Baltusrol, Doonbeg, Cassique, Ballybunion, Whistling Straits, Prestwick, Caves Valley, Glasgow Golf Club Gailes Links, Cherry Hills, Royal Portrush, The Stanwich Club, The Royal County Down and Wilmington Country Club have all hosted the Palmer Cup. The event will be played at Rich Harvest Farms and Atlanta Athletic Club in 2015 and 2017, respectively.
"We are very excited for the future of the Palmer Cup," said GCAA President Todd Satterfield. "Arnold Palmer will always be one of the legends in golf and we are honored to be a part of his continuing legacy. The expansion of this relationship with the Arnold Palmer Group allows the Palmer Cup to grow in visibility and prestige in the golf world and make it one of the premier events in college and amateur golf. We are fortunate that this event showcases our very best players and coaches as they are inspired by the values of The King."
The United States leads the Palmer Cup series 9-7-1.