Columnist Carin Koch on the Ryder CupNovember, 2014
What I learnt from Europe's thrilling win in Scotland
Congratulations Paul McGinley and Team Europe! My first Ryder Cup at Gleneagles was a lot of fun and it was great to see Paul’s side keep the trophy over here in Europe.
The biggest thing I learnt is that the two team competitions are very similar. On the Friday I did a tour of the team rooms and hotel, the men obviously have a bigger budget but the basics are the same. Their team room was full of nice messages and inspiring notes and I’ll certainly use some of their ideas.
They had actually changed the carpet to a yellow and blue one and had a huge tank with yellow and blue fish – I’m not sure we’ll quite be able to match that but we can do things in our own way.
I also got to have a sit down with Paul on the Friday morning after the players had gone off. I was quite surprised that he was still in the team room as in the Solheim Cup we normally go straight off with the players but his thing was to look ahead to the next session and let his vice-captains stay with each match.
I didn’t want to take up too much of his time but we had a great chat and I’m sure we’ll speak again before next September as he’s so open and helpful.
Paul actually had five vice-captains so he would also have one on the practice ground for those not in action. That obviously worked for him (everything works when you win!) but I don’t know if that would work with women to have that many decision makers!
On the course it was an electric atmosphere and I was on the 1st tee on both the Friday and Saturday mornings by 6am to soak up the atmosphere.
I loved what Bubba Watson did in stirring up the crowds even more and think it’s great for the game. Lexi Thompson did the same in Colorado and I could see her doing it again in Germany. If my players wanted to do the same then that’s fine, it’s part of the show and it’s a real bonus for the fans.
I don’t need too much help in thinking about our matches but I am probably a little more focused now after seeing how well prepared Paul was and the difference it made. And to have the closing ceremony so soon after the matches were finished was a brilliant idea for the crowds. The team that loses just want to get out of there while the winning team just wants to party.
Let’s hope we’re partying in Germany.