Valderrama Golf Club, on Spain's Costa Del Sol, was the home of the 1997 Ryder Cup. This spectacular course is considered to be one of the absolute best in continental Europe. To prepare for the 1997 Ryder Cup, club owner Jamie Ortiz-Patino commissioned Bill Waugh, a well-known golf artist of considerable repute, to execute gouache paintings of each hole on the course. These were completed and hung in the Valderrama clubhouse in time for the Ryder Cup. Within a few months after Patino's passing in 2012, his estate sold off many of the treasures Patino had collected, including the original Bill Waugh 1997 Ryder Cup paintings. The painting offered here is one of those.
Titled "La Cascada - The Fourth Hole," This work is so marked front and center across the bottom of the mat. The painting depicts the fourth hole, which is famous for its greenside lake that is constantly fed with water that cascades down a rock wall next to the green (hence its name "La Cascada"). The image itself measures 19 1/2" wide by 12" tall. including the frame, it measures 27 1/4" wide by 20" tall. It has been framed with Musuem UV glass so sunlight or any other light will never fade the rich and vibrant colors no matter where this image is displayed. The artist, Bill Waugh, has signed and dated the bottom left corner of the painting. The course designer, Robert Trent Jones, has signed the bottom center of the painting.
The mat itself is an incredible work of art that was created entirely by the hand of Waugh. The Ryder Cup Logo is hand-painted in the center at the bottom of the mat, and includes "Ryder Cup 1997, Valderrama," written in gold ink by hand. The mat's three sets of gold border lines and light blue wash have also been executed by hand, and to exacting perfection. During the Victorian era, mount making involved three tradesmen: the mount cutter, the colored wash man, and the gold liner. Waugh learned to do all these skill himself and beautifully so.
This is a substantial and beautiful work of art executed to the nines!
The auctioneer has it on good authority that Mr. Patino paid £4000 for each of the Ryder Cup 18 quache paintings depicting the 18 holes at Valderamma. The opening bid is less than the cost of a framed print. And while these original paintings did not come cheap, they are absolutely brilliant when viewed in person. No mistake about that.
When describing the artist, Neil Macleod Prints & Enterprises wrote, "Bill Waugh has established himself as one of Golf's major international artists. Among his clients he can name many of the game's elite including Steve Ballesteros, Greg Norman, Gary Player and a couple of U.S. Presidents. His special skill is depicting famous courses and their clubhouses in beautiful watercolors and oils. Such is his prowess that apart from his special commissions he has produced work for the Open, the U.S. Open, the Ryder Cup and famous clubs around the world."
But there is more to the story of Bill Waugh. Both the UK and Japanese Royal Families own his work. His paintings hang in the USGA's Bobby Jones Room in Far Hills, New Jersey, and at the R&A in St. Andrews. Throughout the course of his career he has worked with several companies including Disney and Garrard's, the famous London Jeweler. The book "Walking the Fairways with Golf Artist Bill Waugh," published by Grant Books in the UK in 2008, includes 51 full or double-page reproductions of Waugh's paintings that celebrate Waugh's artistry and the beauty found in the game of golf.