NCCGA Ryder Cup – VT vs. UVA – The Commonwealth Cup

NCCGA tournaments are great, but two tournaments a semester is not enough for my Hookies. As for course discounts,  if you’re looking to get out and play at your nearest golf club, check out CollegeGolfPass and be sure to suggest courses that you want to play this summer or near campus in the fall. But looking beyond just courses to play, let me tell you about our Ryder Cup experience which has been one of the highlights of my club golf career.

As the co-president of the Virginia Tech Club Golf Team, Brian Petrosky and myself are always looking for great ways to keep us “Hackin’ Hokies” competitive and having fun. Perhaps the best event we’ve competed in throughout the past two semesters is our Ryder Cup-style format with the University of Virginia. By each team taking turns in hosting the event, the Commonwealth Cup—as we call it—has been cost-efficient and has given a number of club golfers who don’t always have the opportunity to compete in regional tournaments a chance to show off their skills against our in-state rivals.


So, what are some good tips on setting up this entertaining format, do you ask? It’s quite doable once you find an opponent you are eager to beat up on.

  • Find a school that is within 2 hours from campus and connect with their club president
  • The officers of the VT and UVA teams agreed upon a two-day event in which 18 holes would be played each day.
  • If weather or travel is an issue, the potential to play 27 in one day is also an option.
  • We aim to send 12 players from each team to compete, just like the Ryder Cup does between Team USA and Team Europe.
  • The number of players each team sends is obviously negotiable.

Day One

  • The first 9 consists of a two-man best ball format in which two players from each team are in a group. It is a match play-style format in which each team takes the best score from either player on each hole.
  • The second 9 consists an alternate shot format in which players take turns hitting shots until the ball is holed. There is also a modified alternate shot format in which all players tee off and choose the best tee shot in which they would like to play. They then play alternate shot for the remainder of the hole.

Day Two 

  • The second day or the third 9—depending on the number of days and holes being played—will be singles matches. Presidents are generally responsible for seeding players and pairing players up. Feel free to do this at your own discretion.


Points are won by winning a match, but each team will be award half a point if players are tied at the conclusion of a match.

Our ultimate goal is to get everyone involved an equal opportunity to enjoy themselves and compete. We make sure each team has an equal number of players; therefore, everyone on each team is involved in each match.

This Ryder-Cup style format has potentially been the most entertaining event the Virginia Tech and Virginia club teams have competed in the past two semesters. If you don’t believe me, just ask UVA club president, Christian Dolan (who just qualified for the U.S. Pub Links Championship - check out my article telling his story). The way we conduct our competition is strictly objective. Feel free to get creative with pairings and how players can qualify.

If you think you and your team would be interested in putting on a Ryder Cup-style event, but don’t know of another school that would be interested, access the regional map on the NCCGA webpage and contact the team’s president or send an email to or hit me up on twitter @AustintheGoose.