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The Ryder Cup – a different ball game September 7, 2006

Posted by Rambling Man in Sports.

With the 36th Ryder Cup now only a matter of days away, I am starting to get a small bit excited. Being an avid, obsessive but only occasionally capable golfer, this is like the World Cup for me. And it’s in Ireland for the first and, who knows, maybe only time.

Having secured myself a marshal’s job for the entire Ryder Cup week, I am now desperately trying to put thoughts of supervising car parks or cleaning portaloos out of my mind and hoping that I will, at the very least, get one of the roles that allows me to see some quality golf.

The Ryder Cup as a phenomenon strikes a great cord with me. Bad as I can be at the sport, I always play to do well and play to win – as my mother would say “There’s a fierce streak of somethin’ in ya !”. Needless to say, I don’t always remain cool, calm and collected on the course. And that’s why the Ryder Cup and its unique atmosphere appeals to me more than anything – here we have a very competitive set of matches between normally cool headed and ultra-professional sportsmen, who in their quest to concentrate (mostly) don’t let the various disturbances that can ocurr get the better of them or their performance. Take Tiger Woods as the supreme example – how many times a round does he or his caddy Steve Williams have to ask an idiot in the crowd to be quiet or to put away their camera or to stop shouting “Yooo da maaan !” at him ?

But the Ryder Cup changes all that – now open and encouraged camaraderie and competitiveness are to the fore and the players have to rise to the occasion. They want to win – not a one man game anymore but a team game – and that’s why golf is so great as a team sport. It’s so much more interesting than watching individual golfers battle their minds and the courses. It’s 12 against 12 in the greatest show of skill, bravado and golfing enthusiasm that you can get. And it’s in Ireland ! The show itself begins on September 19th with 3 days of practice, where those of us lucky enough to be there will get to see the teams up close before the hordes join the galleries from Friday thru Sunday.

So what do people think about the biggest sporting event that Ireland has ever hosted ? In my opinion it can only be good for the economy and I’m trusting the authorities that the Ryder Cup trusted when giving the event to Ireland, that “all that needs to be done, will be done” … (to quote the Minister for Sport).

This includes the seemingly harebrained park and ride facilities, the lists of stuff you can and can’t bring into the grounds and the limits on ticket sharing etc. How it all comes off remains to be seen but I’m sure our American cousins won’t be too short on letting us know if they think we are ripping them off. When it comes down to it, I just want to see some quality golf – where else can I see Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson play Pádraig Harrington and José Maria Olazabal, an hour’s drive from my house ??

Good luck to both teams and come on Europe !

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1. donal - September 7, 2006

Nice one getting a job for this. I’d love to watch it but don’t have the channels and don’t fancy heading to the pub to watch golf! I think delayed coverage is on RTE but just not quite the same.

2. cp1302ger - September 7, 2006

thanks donal – i just applied for the job chancing my arm and they wrote back to me ! i think RTE might have some live coverage as well – why do we pay them a licence at all methinks?

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