Ryder Cup musings...

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JezzE

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Having had the very great privilege of being at Gleneagles the last few days, and ahead of an inevitably delayed flight home, here are just a few musings live from Edinburgh airport as I sit and wait...

1) The atmosphere on the 1st tee on Friday was one of the best things I have ever experienced at a golf event. The amphitheatre-like arena as the sun rose over the hills to reveal a narrow strip of green between thousands and thousands of people was unreal (sorry for the Americanism). I have to admit, I've found the YourGolfTravel Guardians of the Ryder Cup songs irritating at the start of our YouTube videos, but in the flesh they certainly added something to the proceedings and were appreciated by all, including many of the players. Webb Simpson will forever ask himself why he used his very smallest club for his most nerve-wracking shot ever as he led the team off. Perhaps the Ryder Cup was as good as lost for them with that opening sky-roof!!

2) Anyone who criticises Patrick Reed's antics (however irritating), while endorsing Poulter's over the years as a natural outpouring of passion, is myopic at best. We Europeans can't have it both ways, and should all be thankful that America doesn't have 11 others who play with such passion, as I fear we'd be in a bit of trouble then!

3) Fascinating to see how opinion among the US golfing press is not universal in condemning Phil's press conference outburst. Alan Shipnuck, for example, is saying it needed to be said, so what better time than when the golfing world is watching. The majority have said it should all have been acted out behind closed doors though. Some have even said Rickie Fowler and Bubba shouldn't have been getting involved in the festivities last night. Nonsense - what are they supposed to do - hang their heads in shame and not show their faces just because they lost a game of golf? Perspective required!

4) And finally, I have to say that getting out to watch the action live on Sunday afternoon (from outside the ropes, by the way, before I get accused of being one of the hangers-on!) was an enlightening experience. The TV coverage, with its HD perfection, ball flight analyses, slo-mo, constant replays and constant pundit assessment is all well and good... but, actually getting down there, where the grass isn't quite as green and perfect, and the only assessment is yours as you stand and watch, just makes the whole thing seem so much more real and human. I was there when McDowell holed his winning eight-footer, and that was an amazing moment with absolutely no commentary beyond the roars of the crowd as the ball dropped and his putter fell to the ground. I was also hugely impressed that before his celebrations got too exuberant, he remembered where he was and turned to shake hands with Spieth as a matter of priority... which is, after all, what the game is all about. Isn't it?

There we have it, and my flight is only showing as 30 minutes late... at the moment!
 

dewsweeper

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Thanks for an elegant piece of reporting.
Liked the Poulter /Reed analysis.
Hope you had a good flight home,I ,for one ,envy you your enjoyment of a major sporting occasion.
Dewsweeper
 

CallawayKid

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Brilliant Jezz...
Let me know the flight number and routing and I'll let you know how long it's really going to be delayed... ;)

CK
 

Lord Tyrion

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Great write up. Any issues seeing play? The crowds seemed pretty deep and as one of lifes shorter people I would worry I would see an awful lot of heads and not much golf. I have been to a tournament at Gleneagles before and know how magnificent it is and how for viewing it is with normal crowd numbers. The Ryder Cup is not normal though.
 

Region3

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Nice write up, you should be a journalist ;)

Totally agree about Reed. I wouldn't want it every week, but once every two years I love seeing some passion from them.
 

bladeplayer

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Great write up Jezz , can only imagine the switch from silence to roar as Gmac's putt fell . .

What was the feeling like on Sat evening , was there any great talk of historic comeback repeats or was everyone kinda resigned to discussing what the margin would end up as ,

Had or has the golfing journo's any thoughts as to why the Americans cant seem to play foursomes ?

Do you think the press were fishing for controversy from Phil by asking the question they did , ?
 

TamG123

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Great write up Jezz and I too was lucky enough to be lining the 1st fairway on that glorious Friday morning. I was stood (outside the ropes) at the point exactly where Webb Simpson's tee shot landed and there were certainly some surprised voices around. Some even agreed that this was his tactic all along and that he intended to hit a fairway wood to the green. (not sure if they were American or not....)

I enjoyed the whole experience and a bit like yourself, I was at the 17th green when Rory holed a monster putt. To hear the crowd and see the passion in the players was incredible.

The only downside to the day, and I've heard this from quite a few other attendees was that there were not nearly enough WC facilities and catering options for the amount of people there. Strangely, we found it quicker to get a pint of lager than a coffee!

This only gripe did not take away from a great day in what was my 1st Ryder Cup experience and getting to see the golf up close, see how the pro's play (or not in some cases) and just being there is a day I will remember for a long time to come.
 

TXL

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Sorry to hear you were outside the ropes Jezz, hope the huge entourage that followed the games did not spoil your view.

It is the one thing we (all the marshals on my holes) were in agreement on, there were too many inside the ropes following the matches. On Saturday we estimated there were 80 people tagging along with a couple of the matches! Thankfully they did their best to stay out of the way of the paying public but I am sure there were a few with blocked views.
 

GB72

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I had a very different Ryder Cup experience as I did not see or hear a single shot. Being on holiday I had no access to anything as all coverage was region barred so could not even listen to 5 Live. On that basis, my only source of comentary was Twitter and it was great. Dozens of opinions from around the world, from people on the course and watching at home, it was superb. Lots of comment free from bland journalistic politeness, loads of excitement and enthusiasm and the ability to feed back and discuss any point. Also plenty of jingoistic banter. It was a different way of following the event but really not a bad one.
 
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JezzE

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Great write up. Any issues seeing play? The crowds seemed pretty deep and as one of lifes shorter people I would worry I would see an awful lot of heads and not much golf. I have been to a tournament at Gleneagles before and know how magnificent it is and how for viewing it is with normal crowd numbers. The Ryder Cup is not normal though.
Actually one of the better golfing arenas from that perspective as the course was built with tournament golf partly in mind - so lots of banking and mounding in many places. For example, I was about 12 rows back on 17 but had a perfect view of the green.
 
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Thanks Jezz - now I know who the dicks in the blue and yellow were - YourGolfTravel Guardians of the Ryder Cup. On what grounds do they feel it OK to call themselves guardians of the RC. Get lost - don't want you - and certainly don't need you.
 

richy

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Thanks Jezz - now I know who the dicks in the blue and yellow were - YourGolfTravel Guardians of the Ryder Cup. On what grounds do they feel it OK to call themselves guardians of the RC. Get lost - don't want you - and certainly don't need you.
I've just looked these up on youtube. My God they are annoying.

The tall one actually made me feel sick
 

Lord Tyrion

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Sorry to hear you were outside the ropes Jezz, hope the huge entourage that followed the games did not spoil your view.

It is the one thing we (all the marshals on my holes) were in agreement on, there were too many inside the ropes following the matches. On Saturday we estimated there were 80 people tagging along with a couple of the matches! Thankfully they did their best to stay out of the way of the paying public but I am sure there were a few with blocked views.
Montgomery had a monster rant about this at one point on Sky. Good shout. It should be golfers, caddies, marshalls, referee, captain, vice captains and greenkeepers. Everyone else is a hanger on and should be behind the ropes. They should be grateful they got in for nothing and presumably can get in the VIP areas off course. They should not be interfering with the view of the paying public.

What other sport would have spectators on the field of play in this fashion?
 
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Having had the very great privilege of being at Gleneagles the last few days, and ahead of an inevitably delayed flight home, here are just a few musings live from Edinburgh airport as I sit and wait...

1) The atmosphere on the 1st tee on Friday was one of the best things I have ever experienced at a golf event. I have to admit, I've found the YourGolfTravel Guardians of the Ryder Cup songs irritating at the start of our YouTube videos, but in the flesh they certainly added something to the proceedings and were appreciated by all, including many of the players. Webb Simpson will forever ask himself why he used his very smallest club for his most nerve-wracking shot ever as he led the team off.

2) Anyone who criticises Patrick Reed's antics (however irritating), while endorsing Poulter's over the years as a natural outpouring of passion, is myopic at best. We Europeans can't have it both ways, and should all be thankful that America doesn't have 11 others who play with such passion, as I fear we'd be in a bit of trouble then!

3) Fascinating to see how opinion among the US golfing press is not universal in condemning Phil's press conference outburst.

4) And finally, I have to say that getting out to watch the action live on Sunday afternoon (from outside the ropes, by the way, before I get accused of being one of the hangers-on!) was an enlightening experience. The TV coverage, with its HD perfection, ball flight analyses, slo-mo, constant replays and constant pundit assessment is all well and good... but, actually getting down there, where the grass isn't quite as green and perfect, and the only assessment is yours as you stand and watch, just makes the whole thing seem so much more real and human. I was there when McDowell holed his winning eight-footer, and that was an amazing moment with absolutely no commentary beyond the roars of the crowd as the ball dropped and his putter fell to the ground. I was also hugely impressed that before his celebrations got too exuberant, he remembered where he was and turned to shake hands with Spieth as a matter of priority... which is, after all, what the game is all about. Isn't it?

There we have it, and my flight is only showing as 30 minutes late... at the moment!
From watching on TV:

1 - Those songs seem ludicrous and irritating, but the atmosphere looked electric. Great to see Webb Simpson play a shot off the tee like I would!

2 - I thought he was great - loved his passion, just like I love Poulter's. Who would you rather watch? Players who get worked up like Poulter and Reed, or some of the many many dull beige players on the tours?

3 - We all were thinking it, by Mikelson said it. He didn't need to, but was clearly frustrated. (Presumably as was Gallacher)

4 - TV flattens the course, but just occasionally a camera angle cropped up that showed them putting on ludicrous slope, or on the fairway with the ball below their feet. What was clear was just what a high standard the golf was, and how much better these 24 are at it than even the next 50 players in the world rankings, let alone the likes of us.
 

Simbo

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Nice write up mate, I too was in the stand on the first tee on Friday morning (and Saturday and Sunday) thought the atmosphere was brilliant, the view down the first fairway and seeing the crowds were unbelievable.
I mentioned the fact to my dad about the amount of people inside the ropes, mcillroy on Saturday afternoon was shocking, it was like a circus behind him.
I thought viewing on the front 9 was good, we went from 1 tee to big hill between 3 and 8, had a great view of 4 holes without moving much. Back 9 wasn't so great viewing but the big screens were good.

So who are these "guardians of the ryder cup" the guys in blue and yellow? There was a good old discussion going on about whether these guys were pros or not. How did they manage to get the same seats every day????
 
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