Ely City Golf Club beat Minnesota’s Ely golf club in Ely’s version of the Ryder Cup

Ely City Golf Club (UK) v Ely Golf Club (Minnesota USA). The ECGC team and the “Ely Ryder Cup”.

Ely City Golf Club (UK) v Ely Golf Club (Minnesota USA). The ECGC team and the “Ely Ryder Cup”. - Credit: Archant

TWO Ely golf club’s who share a name but are separated by more than 4,000 miles battled it out in the annual “Ely Ryder Cup” challenge on Sunday.

This year’s match saw Ely City Golf Club beat Ely Golf Club Minnesota 7-4 in a hard-fought contest.

The players from the two sides don’t actually meet - they instead play in teams of three on their individual courses and the results are announced via Skype to packed clubhouses on both sides of the Atlantic afterwards.

The Ely Ryder Cup challenge is the brainchild of former Ely City club captain Bob Harker, who came up with the idea seven years ago after discovering in a google search that his club shared a name with a club in northern Minnesota.

He said: “I googled Ely seven years ago and found a club of the same name in a remote part of northern Minnesota.

“I concocted a sort of game. The two club’s pick teams who are pitted against each other.

“We pick a course which is the same length and start at the same time, so we tee off at 1.30pm and they tee off in Minnesota at 7.30am.

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“It’s always a bit nerve wracking coordinating things so far away.

“We play Texas Scramble and afterwards announce the scores one by one “live on air” via Skype to the cheers or groans of a packed clubhouse.”

The match attracts teams from the juniors, ladies, seniors and mens sections with up to forty members playing.

None of the players from the two clubs have met face to face but Mr Harker hopes Lolita Schnitzius, the organiser of the event at Ely Golf Club Minnesota, will come over to Ely next year.

Plans are already in place to organise another match between the two clubs in August 2014.

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