The glorious USA’s golfing pride took another smack between the eyes this September in Scotland. For those keeping score, and believe me, the PGA of America is doing so with much angst, the Europeans have captured eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups. This fiery biennial competition for bragging rights, which the U.S. once dominated, is as close as professional golfers can come to a National Football League showdown. Gang tackling is off limits, but celebratory fist-pumping and over-the-top celebrations define – and occasionally mar – this heated rivalry between the United States and the best golfers of the Old World.
America’s latest loss prompted a meltdown and much finger-pointing. The U.S. captain, the iconic Tom Watson, endured the brunt of the blame for his leadership style and decision-making, though it was his boys with clubs in hand requiring some 40 more shots during the competition than the European team.
In response to the latest crushing defeat, the PGA of America has formed a Task Force to figure out exactly what the hell keeps going wrong. The Warren Commission may not have exerted the same investigational labors into who assassinated JFK. None other than Jack Nicklaus said the PGA of America’s knee-jerk reaction to stopping the losses is “overkill.”
It seems pretty simple to most that the U.S. requires better performing golfers having a lot more fun to get back in the Ryder Cup win column – not an overly serious and lengthy inquisition by administrators in blue blazers.
Here is an alternative recipe the PGA of America might consider to lighten the mood and have the 2016 team loose and ready to play at Hazeltine. Appoint notorious bad boy John Daly as captain. Dress the players in a red, white and blue version of his Loudmouth brand pants. Shirts during play are optional.
Select fellow Southern boys Bubba Watson and Boo Weekley as assistant captains. Bubba can park his orange General Lee Dodge Charger (he owns the original from the “Dukes of Hazzard” television show) behind the 18th green and blow its horn after every winning American putt. Boo can deliver homey motivational speeches before each session — though no one outside of his hometown of Milton, Fla., will comprehend exactly what he is saying.
It may be a farcical solution to America’s ongoing Ryder Cup woes, but strikes at the heart of the U.S. team needing to play with heart, passion and pleasure to succeed again; it’s a formula that continues to work for the fun-loving – and winning – Europeans.