Guest Author - Mary Ellen Sweeney
Kildare's K-Club, the most pampered patch of golfing green in the Emerald Isle plays host September 22 to 24 to the prestigious Ryder Cup. For this nation of fervent sports enthusiasts, the 36th Ryder Cup Team Competition signals that company’s coming and it’s time to polish up the Waterford Crystal---one of the Ryder Cup Official Sponsors. The entire country is in a state of joyous expectation as it ramps up to welcome the 120,000 guests who will attend over the three days of the competition. Whole towns have dedicated their summer festivities to the fierce but friendly competition between the Ryder Cup Teams. Here’s the thing, Ireland’s ardent golfing fans embrace Europe and the U.S. both, so whatever the outcome, there will be no losers at the 2006 Ryder Cup.
The Ryder Cup is in itself a perfect symbol to reflect Ireland’s own heritage of bootstrap success. A self-made man---his fortune made from flower seed packets sold a penny at a time---Samuel Ryder was advised at 50 to take up golf for his health. In typical Ryder fashion, he went at the sport with fullest enthusiasm, luring British golf star Abe Mitchell as his personal golf tutor. It’s the likeness of Mitchell that is memorialized on the top of the gorgeous gold chalice that is the Ryder trophy.
A Ryder Cup visit to Ireland will be about sharing hospitality, making legends, and reflecting our common heritage, with some golf as an excuse to come together again for a visit. Come for the Ryder Cup and stay for the parting glass, as this Ryder Cup will be long reflected upon through the crystal prisms of the world’s 19th Holes, for those who would sup of the Ryder Cup will never forget the first time that trophy changed hands on the Emerald Isle.
Waterford Crystal is an official sponsor of the Ryder Cup and in grand fashion---after all, Ireland has waited 80 years to host the event, and she’s well and truly ready---commemorating the event with a choice of Ryder Cup Limited Edition Signature pieces.