Does The Ryder Cup Captain Matter?
Golf Digest editors debate whether the Ryder Cup captain is an essential or overrated position.
Released on 9/23/2014
|Executive Producer:||Harris Levinson|
Produced by: Emoticon Productions
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Hey, the captain's role is mostly symbolic.
I mean, there's a lot of public appearances you need to make
and speeches you need to make.
You pick the uniforms, or you have Roland picking
I think Ryder Cup captains are really important
for the fashion industry.
Win or lose, the captain is going to get too much credit
or way too much blame.
I think the position is very overrated.
It's three days of golf, it's 24 great players.
These guys, they know what they're playing for.
If they need that kind of motivation they probably
shouldn't be there.
A captain has to stand on the sidelines
and watch his golfers compete.
There's not a lot of in-match or in-game strategy
that a captain had any control over.
For the most part, the captain's roll
is not not screw up, really.
I don't want to sound too negative,
but I think that is the primary role of the captain,
so I think it is negligible.
I think a bad captain can hurt a team
more than a good captain can help a team.
I think if anything, the only thing a captain can do
is screw things up and set the wrong tone
with his team, or put the wrong players together.
Hal Sutton in 2004 over-captained
and created an atmosphere that intensified the pressure
on the Americans.
It wasn't fun anymore, and to put Tiger and Phil together
was a bit of a force.
That, I think, was bad captaining that ended up
You know, a lot of people think that the role
of Ryder Cup captain is really overrated.
But I used to think that for a long time.
I think it's a bigger deal than a lot of people think.
I think if you think about other team sports
the manager, the coach is there to inspire,
is there to try to dig something out of
a person's psyche and to get them to perform
at a better level.
Merging personalities together is one of the most
difficult things a manager or coach does.
It is team golf.
It is something that they're not used to.
You are pairing players together that need to be
compatible, not only in their games,
but in their personalities.
Paul Azinger with his pod system in 2008
really seemed to manage that properly.
More than the pod system, it was Paul Azinger
He was really one of them.
He had really great feelings for the event.
He knew how to convey the importance of it
and still keep it fun.
Paul Azinger gets a lot of credit.
The fact is, guys just played better.
It's like with any general or CEO,
you need a strong presence so that those underneath you
can excel and do well.