Wales makes the case for The Ryder Cup
Whatever the final result at the Celtic Manor Resort come Sunday, there is one Welshman that will have played a key role in ensuring The Ryder Cup Trophy arrives safely in the hands of the winning captain.
The custom-built flight case that was used to transport the 17” solid gold trophy from the US to The Celtic Manor Resort for the 2010 contest was supplied by Cwmbran-based Dragon Cases, following an order placed back in February last year.
John Bradshaw, owner of Dragon Cases, remembers getting the call from the PGA’s headquarters at The Belfry following a request by the PGA of America;
“The US PGA had requested a new transit case for The Ryder Cup trophy, with the old one having been in use since 2002. It required a pretty quick turnaround and after receiving the order in February we worked with our manufacturers, Nomad, to design and construct the case for delivery in March.”
The trophy itself was commissioned for just £250 by English seed merchant Samuel A. Ryder in 1927 for the first ever contest, but only got its first custom-build transit case in 1994. That case was also supplied by a Welsh business called Autopia, which has since ceased trading. Meanwhile Bradshaw, a former employee of Autopia, started his own business - Dragon Cases – as a supplier of Polyethylene & Fibreboard transit cases and padded nylon bags, specializing in the storage and transport of fragile and technical equipment.
The new case was manufactured to the highest specifications, using a heat resistant plywood structure with aluminium extrusions and zinc plated steel hardware. Inside, a high-density foam block was cut to the exact shape of the cup.
Not a golfer himself, Bradshaw comes from a keen golfing family. His mother, Gurt, is a former Lady Captain at Cwmbran’s Greenmeadow Golf Club, while his brother, Mike, is a member of Gower Golf Club in Swansea and is on duty as a volunteer at this year’s Ryder Cup.
John Bradshaw added; “I’ll probably be watching action on TV at home but it is a great feeling to have played a small part in the occasion. Hopefully, our case won’t be transporting the Cup too far after Sunday as it will be great to keep it here in Wales for just a little longer.”