Arnold Palmer Cup History

Arnold Palmer Cup

In 1997 Arnold Palmer was approached by the Golf Coaches Association of America regarding lending his name to an international collegiate event between the United States and Great Britain and Ireland. The event would use a Ryder Cup-style format and bring together the top eight collegiate players in the United States against their counterparts from GB&I. Palmer, a former collegiate player and coach himself, has been called America’s greatest Ambassador for the game of golf. With his blessing and the support of the Arnold Palmer Golf Company, the inaugural event was played at his own Bay Hill Club in Florida in June 1997. “I had long thought that an international competition such as this would enrich the lives of young men through the universal bond of the great game of golf," said Mr. Palmer.

I had long thought that an international competition such as this would enrich the lives of young men through the universal bond of the great game of golf.


Great venues have highlighted the competition since its inception in 1997. After Bay Hill, the Arnold Palmer Cup was next contested in Scotland in 1998 on the Old and New Courses at St. Andrews. In subsequent years, the matches have been played at such historic venues as The Honors Course, Royal Liverpool, Baltusrol, Doonbeg, Cassique, Ballybunion, Whistling Straits-The Irish, Prestwick, Caves Valley, Glasgow Golf Club Gailes Links, Cherry Hills, Royal Portrush Golf Club, The Stanwich Club, Royal Country Down Golf Club, Wilmington Country Club, Walton Heath, Rich Harvest Farms, Formby Golf Club, Atlanta Athletic Club, Evian Resort Golf Club, The Alotian Club, Golf Club de Genève, and Laurel Valley Golf Club. The Palmer Cup will be staged at Lahinch Golf Club in 2024 and Congaree Golf Club in 2025.

Upon conclusion of the 2002 event at Doonbeg in Ireland, a decision was made to alter the team composition by including European players with those from Great Britain and Ireland. In 2018, the Palmer Cup was expanded to include United States men's and women's college golfers against their International counterparts. Currently, the United States leads the all-time series 14-12-1.

Many outstanding collegians have participated in the Arnold Palmer Cup. More than 90 former Arnold Palmer Cup players have claimed over 415 victories on the PGA, European, or LPGA Tours, including The Masters and US Open Champions Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson, The Women's Open and Chevron Championship winner Lilia Vu, The Open and PGA Championship winner Collin Morikawa, two-time PGA Champion Justin Thomas, U.S. Open Champions Wyndham Clark, Bryson DeChambeau, Webb Simpson, Graeme McDowell, and Lucas Glover, U.S. Women's Open Champion Allisen Corpuz, The Open Champions Brian Harman, Francesco Molinari, and Ben Curtis, The Chevron Championship winner Jennifer Kupcho, and ANA Inspiration Champion Patty Tavatanakit as well as FedEx Cup Champions Viktor Hovland, Patrick Cantlay, Johnson, Thomas, Billy Horschel, Brandt Snedeker, and Bill Haas and LPGA Rolex Player of the Year Vu.

Arnold Palmer Cup alumni have also represented well in the Ryder, Presidents, and Solheim Cups. The 45 Palmer Cuppers that have represented their countries in these events include Ludvig Åberg, Hovland, Rahm, Sam Burns, Cantlay, Clark, Rickie Fowler, Harman, Morikawa, Thomas, Corpuz, Kupcho, Andrea Lee, Vu, Rose Zhang, Linn Grant, Maja Stark, Berger, Kevin Chappell, Curtis, DeChambeau, Glover, Haas, J.J. Henry, J.B. Holmes, Horschel, Charles Howell III, Johnson, Chris Kirk, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Ryan Moore, Jeff Overton, Simpson, Snedeker, Nick Watney, Jonas Blixt, Luke Donald, Robert Karlsson, McDowell, Molinari, Alex Norén, Thomas Pieters, Oliver Wilson, and Rory Sabbatini.