News & ToursAugust 5, 2015

Seven changes we'd like to see to the 2015 Presidents Cup format

Nick Price, captain of the International team for this year's Presidents Cup, has been lobbying for change to the biennial tournament. That makes two of us.

Price is meeting with commissioner Tim Finchem at Firestone Country Club this week to discuss alterations to the team event, which will be held in Incheon, South Korea. Speaking with the media before this conference, the former No. 1 player in the world didn't mince words.

"I think all of us on the team feel that a points change would really make it more exciting and more competitive," Price said on Tuesday. "I think win, lose or draw, we all want to see it come down to the final match on Sunday instead of being done with eight matches left on the golf course on Sunday. That's a big deal."

Price is referring to the United States' dominance of the Presidents Cup, with the Americans holding an 8-1-1 record.

"Part of the rules in the Presidents Cup which differ from the Ryder Cup is that the captains have to make changes," Price continued. "I said to Tim Finchem, That's never going to work because we're standing on two opposite sides.' It needs to be addressed, for the long-term future of it anyway, it needs to be addressed by people who are a little more independent of it and say, OK, this is maybe the way we should go.' So hopefully, we'll see what happens."

Price isn't wrong: this thing needs fixing. However, a few point revisions won't do the trick. Here is how the Presidents Cup can get back on track:

Minimize roster spots

Depth has always been an issue for the International squad, one that won't be alleviated anytime soon. The team does boast a formidable front line in the likes of Jason Day, Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen and Hideki Matsuyama. Limiting the amount of competitors increases their influence on the events.

The upshot means some sound Americans players will have to stay at home. Conversely, given the golfers currently sitting in the No. 9-12 ranking are Chris Kirk, Matt Kuchar, Charley Hoffman and J.B. Holmes, we aren't going to lose TV viewers due to their absence, either.

Replace alternate shot with a scramble

Can you imagine the drives Dustin Johnson would unleash knowing he had a safe ball in the fairway, or the type of pin-seeking we'd see from Spieth or Rickie Fowler? It would be like watching a Golden Tee round come to life.

Let the fans go wild

I've preached from this pulpit before, but it's pertinent to the argument. I've never understood why a golf gallery is supposed to maintain silence while a player hits a non-moving object, yet a baseball player has to hit a 95-mph heater that could be headed for his dome in front of a packed stadium that's going bananas. Kind of hurts the "golfers are athletes, too!" dispute.

The Presidents Cup is competing with football and playoff-race baseball for eyes, so we need some incentive for the audience to tune in. Seeing which golfers can stand the heat of a delirious crowd might be it.

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No Michael Jordan

You don't see Jordan Spieth sitting with the San Antonio Spurs coaching staff or Phil Mickelson donning a headset at a San Diego Chargers game (you know he'd love to though). So why does his Airness get to mingle with the captains and players at the Ryder and Presidents Cups? It cuts into the merit and integrity of the event.

By all means, hook MJ up with whatever accommodations he wants; he is the greatest, after all. But don't let him think, you know, that he's actually a part of the team.

Bring back Sammy the Squirrel

As well as Davis Love III. I firmly believe that duo should have their own buddy-cop show.

Better courses

There are exceptions, like Royal Melbourne and Muirfield Village, but most of the venues on the Presidents Cup rotation underwhelm.

In the event's defense, this problem is not singular, as the Ryder Cup has been hampered with similar issues (cough cough Belfry cough cough). That doesn't mean we're leaving this area of average untouched. Looking at you, Royal Montreal.

Our wish list for the next six venues: Fishers Island in New York; Cape Kidnappers (you read that right) in New Zealand; Crystal Downs in Michigan; Hirono in Japan; Pacific Dunes in Oregon; The National Golf Club of Canada in Ontario.

Don't ask how long it took to refine these selections. Just know there is a lot of crumpled paper and whiteboard drawings out of A Beautiful Mind as evidence to the process.

Captain John Daly

Jay Haas is a wonderful human being, but he couldn't be picked out of a police lineup by half the tour, let alone its fans. Haas also doesn't have a major in his mantle.

We need a fan favorite, someone who has come through on the big stage. We need a hero. We need...

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You laugh, but judging by the comments at the bottom of this piece, the people would love it.

Follow @JoelMBeall


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