The Loop

Ryder Cup captaincy: How much does it really matter?

September 05, 2016

PGA of America via Getty Images

Stories of interest you might have missed…

“The most overhyped job in golf is a temporary gig. It is assigned once every two years to a pair of older players, neither of whom will be required to hit a single shot. It will result in one of them being cast as a paragon of leadership, producing corporate speaking opportunities and maybe even a book deal. The other will leave the job in ignominy, a central culprit in an apparent breakdown in group dynamics.

“This is the cult of the Ryder Cup captain, a position celebrated as requiring the motivational authority of an iron-fisted college coach and the personnel mastery of a baseball general manager. And with the biennial contest just weeks away, public scrutiny of U.S. captain Davis Love III and European captain Darren Clarke has already begun.

“All of that obscures one not-so-small truth about the job: It may not actually matter all that much.”

Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal makes his case here.

Elderberry wine, Pete Dye and Crooked Stick Golf Club

“The wild elderberry wine was delightful. Pete Dye already had one glass when the woman sitting across from him offered another. Each sip went down more easily than the last. Have a little more, the woman told him with a sweet smile on her face.

“It was the early 1960s and Dye was in this woman's house trying to convince her to sell a large patch of land in Carmel. He desperately needed the acreage. The corner of land was the missing puzzle piece of his dream — a dream to design his first championship golf course.

“‘So after several, if not more, glasses of elderberry wine, Pete offered her a price which was twice what it was worth,’ said Alice Dye, Pete's wife. ‘Which she eagerly accepted.’

“Crooked Stick Golf Club was born,” Dana Hunsinger Benbow of the Indianapolis Star writes in this story on the evolution of the course hosting the next stop of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup playoffs.