Wednesday 2 September 2009

The Ryder Cup Course form a caddie's viewpoint

The argument is not a new one but it is likely to be one that will be ramped up following next year's event in Wales but it was all the same very interesting to read Irish Caddy Colin Byrne's view of the Centenary course as a Ryder Cup venue.
The well respected bag carrier and Irish Times scribe wrote very clearly about the recent way of selecting Ryder Cup venues.
"There seems to be a trend that has developed in the past decade concerning the European Ryder Cup hosts; influential businessman, limited knowledge about course design, recognises the game as a great commercial vehicle and wants to fulfil a dream of hosting the most accessible match in professional golf to the masses in his back-yard."
He continued with his restrained manner!,
For Scotland to choose the Centenary Course at Gleneagles as the arena for the ultimate professional matchplay show-piece speaks volumes for the event itself; integrity and sense of history take a back seat, this is the nouveau golf show open to the highest bidder.
He rightly doesn't just reserve the criticism for Scotland and those in the golf industry have stated the same in the past,
The successful Ryder Cup at The K Club was a sodden affair. Even when we have a dry spell The K Club is moist.
The Wales Open at Celtic Manor is a murky swamp at best and that’s held in the summer-time. The Johnnie Walker at Gleneagles, played in August, is traditionally a mud bath.
It's worth reading the article in full at The Irish Times. All of the above were clearly voiced as I recall by the golf tourism sector in Scotland at the time of the choice of course which again if memory serves me included Carnoustie and Turnberry amongst them. I wonder now what the industry's thoughts on the Ryder Cup venue are?


Anonymous said...

Isnt it great when a caddy gets this much exposure!!! But does he have a point? I think so. I dont think there is an arguement about playing it over a US style course as the yanks have proved they can win over even the most difficult of our links courses. But an event in late September at "the gateway to the highlands" is more than a little risky. Perhaps not the best way to showcase Scotland to the worlds media.

John said...

The selection of Ryder Cup venues really does need an overhaul. The compromises made to accommodate crowds, course owners and sponsors are undoubtedly reducing the quality of course that the event is played on...