Ryder Cup Played in Snow and Hail: This Day in Sports History

Walter Hagen
Walter Hagen | Thompson/Getty Images

In 1929, there was no global warming. It still got cold in the winter and, sometimes, it even snowed in the spring.

Such was the case on this day in 1929 when Great Britain beat the United States 7-5 in the second Ryder Cup. The match was played at Moortown Golf Club in Leeds, England and the conditions were less than ideal.

It was bitterly cold and a mix of hail and snow showered down on the players during the two-day event. Greens were reportedly covered in that ancient relic known as "snow." That was when men were men, however, and they played through the conditions, allowing them to honestly say the greens were like putting on ice.

The biggest note from the event outside of the weather was 11-time major champion and US captin Walter Hagen getting his lunch handed to him by UK captain George Duncan in the singles competition. Duncan beat Hagen 10-and-8 in their 36-hole match, which is the largest margin of victory on Ryder Cup history. Legend has it that Duncan overheard Hagen boasting that he would easily beat Duncan in singles and was motivated to prove otherwise. He did, helping the UK team overcome a one-point defect after day one.

If it snowed during an April golf match today, it would not only be surprising based on the average temperature increase of our planet, but it would also likely result in matches be postponed until more advantageous weather returned. No way these guys could putt on snow like the golfers of yesteryear. Honestly, when would they have even had the opportunity to practice? Bryson DeChambeau would be beside himself having never studied the scientific elements of how golf balls oscillate in those conditions. Honestly, it would be a disaster.