by Jeff Skinner
The stories that golfers tell of their feelings on the first tee of the Ryder Cup show just how nervous these seasoned professionals can get when teeing it up for their country.
Some are so nervous they can’t place the ball on the tee. Others have been unable to speak while some are so shaky that they have changed their game plan on the opening tee and made their partner hit the first tee shot. And we won’t even discuss the extra trips to the men’s room for so many anxious players.
Player after player will tell you that the Ryder Cup tee box is the scariest place in golf. Certainly, starting The Masters, The U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the PGA will get a player’s heart rate going but nothing makes their knees knock, their hands shake and their bowels work overtime like Samuel Ryder’s little trophy.
Each week on their respective tours these golfers are playing for millions of dollars this week they play for no money. But to a man they will tell you this is the most important week of their season. Playing for your country will do that. Playing for your teammates will do that. Playing at the Ryder Cup is the ultimate for any professional golfer. This week will make someone a hero and maybe a goat or two. It’s a week that these players will remember for the rest of their lives.
It’s Ryder Cup Week…the most pressure in golf.
Here are some great Ryder Cup resources to get us through the week and keep us up on all things Ryder Cup.
The Ryder Cup Team websites are filled with great info on the teams and history. The team USA site has a nice hole by hole preview of the Jack Nicklaus designed Gleneagles PGA Centenary Course.
The European Team’s website has a Europe vs. USA statistical break down that may surprise you. And speaking of pressure David Feherty says that the Euro’s are the one under the most pressure this year.
Much has been made of the “home field” advantage that the Europeans will have over the Americans. But it is really only as it relates to the fans. Certainly the raucous European faithful will cheer for their team but as far as the course favoring the Euro’s that‘s debatable.
It’s not a links course but rather a parkland layout that will seem familiar to the Americans. And not many European Team members have seen Gleneagles that often, other than Stephen Gallacher who lives 35 miles away. Alistair Tait gives us the inside dope on the home course advantage.
Golf Digest has published some insightful videos on our favorite team event. The one below tells us just how much pressure these players are under. Click here for the rest.
Play starts early Friday morning at 2:30 EST. Get some rest and join me as one of the crazies that gets up early to watch this thing.
It’s one of the best weekends in golf and for sure the one with the most pressure.