Ryder Cup Recap
Have you had time to process the Ryder Cup? Most people would say it was a huge success – not only for the USA and Hazeltine – but for the game of golf.
Maybe some purists are mad. Too much yelling, too much drinking, too many birdies, too much fist pumping. Well, golf doesn’t have to have the atmosphere of a funeral. Golf can and should be joyful.
Speaking of funerals – I hope you saw Arnie’s Public Memorial Service on Tuesday. Though it was reserved and respectful, it was joyful. Arnie’s life was joyful … and Arnie tried to bring joy to others … that’s why he was so special. I think Arnie would have loved this Ryder Cup – especially that moment on hole #8 when Patrick Reed made a putt right after Rory and they back slapped each other as they walked to #9. That was as good as it gets.
Justin Rose complained that the course was set up like a Pro-Am. Do you think we would have seen that excitement if guys were winning holes with bogeys? Thank God they cut down the rough and put the pins in easy places – let those guys light it up. The weather was perfect – warm but not hot – and almost no wind. Hazeltine can be a beast – even for those guys. Yet, if you let the best in the world have good scoring conditions, they’ll tear apart a beast like Hazeltine … look at the Phil-Sergio match – they made 19 birdies and each shot 63. Would Justin Rose rather that each guy shot 75 and sometimes won holes with bogeys?
There is a time and place for that type of golf – the US Open. That’s when par is a great score and it’s 4 rounds of grinding. I love that too. But, match play is great fun and needs to be less of a grind and more of a party. Birdies and eagles are more uplifting than bogeys and double bogeys.
This Ryder Cup was great for golf. It will be talked about for many years and may even become a legend. It was the perfect tribute to Arnold Palmer. What a week.
GM and Head Golf Professional