Watson, who beat a future Masters champion in Trevor Immelman when he was crowned Amateur champion at Royal St George’s in 1997, will also captain GB&I in the St Andrews Trophy against Continent of Europe in July.
“Playing in the Walker Cup team is one of my proudest moments in golf,” said Watson of his 1997 appearance at Quaker Ridge in New York.
“I still remember the nerve-wracking moment when I teed it up on the first tee in the afternoon singles on the first day but I settled down and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
“It is a privilege for me to take over the captaincy of the team and I have a hard act to follow as Nigel did a fantastic job.”
Edwards led GB&I to victories at Royal Aberdeen in 2011 against an American side that included Jordan Spieth and at Royal Lytham last year.
The 2017 Walker Cup will be played from 9-10 September at Los Angeles Country Club.