The biennial Ryder Cup competition, where the best players from the USA face their European counterparts in a three-day match, is often promoted as the third biggest sporting event in the world. Whilst such a claim is a contested one, the event does offer an interesting case to look at the role of the nation in an international sporting competition. Based upon an analysis of media coverage of the 2008 match, together with a survey of recreational golfers, this study considers the significance of the Ryder Cup in relation to national identity in the USA. The research highlights that the Ryder Cup is used as an important site for framing narratives of the nation in media discourse but is not something considered as particularly important for a sample of recreational golfers. This work, on an international sporting event that has received limited attention to date, shows some of the issues involved in framing and understanding sport as a means of national representation.
- Ryder Cup
- national identities