I have a theory, here it is.
“The most important attribute to play great golf, day in and day our, is accuracy and consistency in your golf swing – not length”.
Did you happen to watch the Ryder Cup? If you are an American golf fan, you probably wish you hadn’t. As much as I think Davis Love is a great guy, I am not sure that he had this entire event under control. I think it is one of the greatest events in golf and yes, I admit, I like the European players better than the U.S. players. Why? Because they look like they have more fun playing golf. Really, they do! Did you watch them? Golf is a game to them and it looks like they play it to have fun. They smile, laugh, make fun of themselves and cheer each other on. They look like a Team. This seems to be in complete contrast to the U.S. Team who, other than Phil Mickleson and Keegan Bradley looked like they are taking a week out of their schedules to play for charity.
This might be a bit overstated and I admit that the rookies, even though they look like deer caught in headlights, are caught up in the moment. I think that the Ryder Cup should be the U.S. rookies vs. the European rookies where the first year players from both sides of the pond play each other for the Ryder Cup. Now that would be some great golf!
It’s the older guys on the U.S. Team that seem to have the most to lose – and it shows when they get in these team events. It seems like they are trying not to lose rather than trying to win. Maybe we should rethink our selection process – I vote for all rookies, especially players like Ricky Fowler. Mostly because he isn’t afraid of match play. Who would you rather watch, Tiger protecting his reputation or Ricky going for every reachable par 4? Hey, the Ryder Cup is one of the grandest stages for golf – let’s go for it!
And after watching almost every minute of the event and witnessing the European players enjoy themselves even though they trailed the entire match until the last groups on the last day – I still don’t think that the players on the tour are great ball-strikers. Nope, sorry. If you saw the same event I did, you saw way too many shots missing greens, hitting trees and even a “shank”.
I have never played in a “Ryder Cup” however, I do play Medinah more than any course in my yearly golf schedule of 10 rounds per year. The course is demanding and difficult. It requires shots that angle over doglegged fairways where you must carry tall trees at corners with draws and fades. But the errant tee shots that clip a tree while cutting corners aren’t the ones that bother me. The ones that bother me are seven irons and wedges that miss the greens. Just like hole number 17 and 18 where we lost every match we played on these holes.
Luckily for us we had some length on our team with Bubba, Phil and Tiger – so we could reach the par 5’s in two. But what good did that do us? It was the 17’th hole a water protected par 3 and the 18th a straight forward par 4, that finished us off. Once again, my theory is confirmed and Moe was right – length is great to have when you play golf. Its a great tool to have but it won’t win you a Ryder Cup. The key is accuracy and consistency – oh and the ability to make putts.