5 Ryder Cup Highlights To Watch Before Medinah in 2012

The Ryder Cup: it’s brilliant, it’s patriotic, it’s a rare moment of bonding that the game rarely shows. For one week, the world’s best from the U.S and Europe team up and compete in a dazzling biennial affair. Hosted this year in the U.S. at Medinah Country Club, outside of Chicago, the golf world will be watching as Europe tries to defend the title and keep the cup overseas. Below are 5 videos every golfer should watch before the first stroke is struck. Each video has been selected to emphasize the emotion, patriotism, and strategy all intertwined into a tournament unlike any other: The Ryder Cup.

Context behind the Ryder Cup:

Before 1985, the U.S. had dominated the Ryder Cup only losing three times since it’s inception in 1927. However, in 1985 the tides began to turn with the help of young, charismatic golfers like Seve Ballesteros, and the competition has never been same since. Below is a chart showing which teams won, by how much, and who lead the team to victory and defeat.

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Tom Watson on the Charlie Rose Show

The indepth, benevolent interrogation by Charlie Rose doesn’t escape the game we know and love. When I heard that Tom Watson would be on the other side of the round, oak table I knew it would be something to TiVo. Below is the 32 minute interview and the summary that follow.

– Charlie opens the interview with a look back at Watson’s chip-in on the 17th at Pebble.

– Watson truly believed he could win the Wednesday night before the start of the tournament.

– His example of what makes his experience beneficial is fantastic; trust and confidence in the course made his 6 prior experiences at Turnberry such an advantage.

– Watson on links golf “That’s links golf, you just don’t know.”

– Tom’s hatred of failure is what drove him to succeed.

– The caddy-player relationship in Watson’s life is amazing. Bruce Edwards spent over 30 years on the bag with Watson.

– When the ball was in the air on 18 at Turnberry in 2009, Watson thought it would be 77′ all over again.

– Watson’s major motivation for great play at the Masters this year was his son being on the bag.

– To be great at anything, you’ve got to have conviction that you’re great. Tom believed that.

– Everyone always talked about Jack and his strategy around the course. Watson puts it in much simpler terms by saying, “Jack was the best at taking the element of risk out of an individual shot.”

Two Questions Watson Asked Hogan: it surprises me that Tom only met Ben once.

– Do you ever think a tall golfer will ever be one of the best players?” Hogan responded by saying “Absolutely.”

– How nervous did you get when you were playing in competition? Hogan replied, “Tom, I was so nervous I was jumping out of my skin.”

– Charlie asks “Why would you wake up and not warm-up well if you in the lead?” A simple question, but yet, it cuts to the heart of the enigma is that is the game of golf. Watson replies that is just the way the the game is and feel is such a big factor.

– The snowball effect of losing confidence happened to Tom midway through his career.

Watson finds “it.”

– His practice session on the range in 1994 is where Tom Watson discovered his secret. There are many similarities to Tom’s secret and the one of Ben Hogan.

– Wow, did not know Tom Watson thought about quitting the game.

– Learn from the best through observation.

– Watson equates ball striking to pitcher’s and their control of the movement of their pitch.

– The modern golf swing is epitomized in Sam Snead’s swing.

Jon @ atruegolfer.com

Newsman golfs across Detroit to explore his city

Last month Fox’s Charlie LeDuff took on an epic challenge to play golf from the tips of Detroit – literally, an 18-mile, par 3168, single hole stretching from one end of the city to another. Besides smacking a driver down highway 75 this unusual expedition had an underlying purpose: an attempt to learn more about the city and the day-to-day living of its citizens.

The 46 year old Pulitzer Prize winning writer carried just 4 clubs in his bag while facing extraordinary hazards, abandoned houses, dying landmarks and grassy fields. On his trek through Detroit he learned more about the troubles facing city residents as they struggled to get by, including a mom trying to find her suicidal daughter, an unhappy cop, and a generous deacon.

LeDuff didn’t opt for a caddie (though he did have a crew with him) and took no mulligans – Detroit rules are to play it as it lies. By the time he holed out his final putt at the Belle Island Golf Club, LeDuff counted 2525 strokes (an astonishing 643 under par). You can watch this great piece of golf/journalism below:

I’m thinking back to what I saw behind me – a city, its people holding on, waiting for a savior, a savior who may not be coming. I wonder if the people know the savior might be found within themselves, their neighborhoods, their families. The old saying is true, ‘No man is an island’

– Charlie LeDuff