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

Credits

Director: Harris Levinson
Executive Producer: Harris Levinson

Produced by: Emoticon Productions

Transcript

00:00
(strong, powerful instrumental music)
00:08
Hey, the captain's role is mostly symbolic.
00:11
I mean, there's a lot of public appearances you need to make
00:14
and speeches you need to make.
00:15
You pick the uniforms, or you have Roland picking
00:17
the uniforms.
00:19
I think Ryder Cup captains are really important
00:20
for the fashion industry.
00:23
Win or lose, the captain is going to get too much credit
00:26
or way too much blame.
00:27
I think the position is very overrated.
00:30
It's three days of golf, it's 24 great players.
00:33
These guys, they know what they're playing for.
00:35
If they need that kind of motivation they probably
00:37
shouldn't be there.
00:39
A captain has to stand on the sidelines
00:42
and watch his golfers compete.
00:44
There's not a lot of in-match or in-game strategy
00:48
that a captain had any control over.
00:51
For the most part, the captain's roll
00:53
is not not screw up, really.
00:56
I don't want to sound too negative,
00:57
but I think that is the primary role of the captain,
00:59
so I think it is negligible.
01:01
I think a bad captain can hurt a team
01:04
more than a good captain can help a team.
01:06
I think if anything, the only thing a captain can do
01:09
is screw things up and set the wrong tone
01:11
with his team, or put the wrong players together.
01:15
Hal Sutton in 2004 over-captained
01:18
and created an atmosphere that intensified the pressure
01:20
on the Americans.
01:21
It wasn't fun anymore, and to put Tiger and Phil together
01:24
was a bit of a force.
01:26
That, I think, was bad captaining that ended up
01:29
hurting America.
01:32
You know, a lot of people think that the role
01:34
of Ryder Cup captain is really overrated.
01:36
But I used to think that for a long time.
01:38
I think it's a bigger deal than a lot of people think.
01:40
I think if you think about other team sports
01:42
the manager, the coach is there to inspire,
01:45
is there to try to dig something out of
01:48
a person's psyche and to get them to perform
01:51
at a better level.
01:52
Merging personalities together is one of the most
01:54
difficult things a manager or coach does.
01:57
It is team golf.
01:59
It is something that they're not used to.
02:01
You are pairing players together that need to be
02:03
compatible, not only in their games,
02:05
but in their personalities.
02:07
Paul Azinger with his pod system in 2008
02:10
really seemed to manage that properly.
02:12
More than the pod system, it was Paul Azinger
02:15
galvanizing guys.
02:15
He was really one of them.
02:17
He had really great feelings for the event.
02:19
He knew how to convey the importance of it
02:21
and still keep it fun.
02:22
Paul Azinger gets a lot of credit.
02:24
The fact is, guys just played better.
02:26
It's like with any general or CEO,
02:29
you need a strong presence so that those underneath you
02:31
can excel and do well.
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