Jack Nicklaus had made his own pitch for the change during the matches in a meeting with British PGA head Lord Derby. It had been suggested for the past decade that players from Commonwealth countries, like Gary Player of South Africa and Peter Thomson of Australia, should be included in the Ryder Cup, as both countries were part of the wider British Commonwealth. But the British PGA strongly resisted. After a few months of discussion, the original Deed of Trust struck between Sam Ryder and the British PGA was amended to include continental Europe. Most significantly, this move would immediately include Seve Ballesteros, then the top player in the world, and usher in the inclusion of such players as Germany’s Bernhard Langer and Italy’s Costantino Rocca.
Entering the 1983 Ryder Cup, the United States had captured the trophy 12 consecutive times, dating back to 1959. Team Europe needed a jolt. Schofield thought that Tony Jacklin would make an ideal captain. Schofield and Colin Snape, the British PGA secretary, approached Jacklin as he was hitting balls at Moortown Golf Club, in Yorkshire, England. Jacklin said that he was kind of shocked at the offer initially, so he thought about it overnight. He accepted the captaincy the next day. Jacklin led the Europeans to rousing success in the 1980s, winning in 1985, 1987 and 1989. That rivalry would end up elevating the Ryder Cup to an even higher status within the game, becoming one of its most revered, popular and important events.
Schofield’s influence can still be felt at the European Tour in many ways. In 1991, European Tour Productions, which has become the single-largest producer of TV golf programming in the world, began under the Schofield era. After a successful career with the European Tour, Schofield received the Ambassador of Golf Award by the PGA TOUR in 2006. He later served as a writer, broadcaster for Golf Channel, speaker and consultant to various authorities, including the European Tour.
Schofield continues to nobly serve the game in many charitable and advisory capacities, still working to grow the game he loves.
Ken Schofield was originally inducted under the Lifetime Achievement category.