Quick 9: What the US has given to golf
6. Wild Thing
Mr United States of America himself, John Daly.
What is not to love? Golf’s most interesting character? We think so.
5. No ‘US’ in ‘team’
U-S-A! U-S-A! They bring the noise.
One of the first official international matches was actually played between France and America, prior to World War I, but with the concept of a major international team event firmly in the PGA of America’s plans, along came Samuel Ryder and the first Ryder Cup matches between teams from the US and Great Britain and Ireland were penned in for Wentworth in 1926.
The US dominated the early era of the team event winning all but one from 1935 to 1977. In light of the continued dominance of the American side, interest in the event was wearing thin. Step up Jack Nicklaus, who suggested in 1977 to Lord Darby, the head of the British PGA, to expand the British and Irish team to include players from Europe, adding competitive balance with the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Jose Maria Olazabal.
The move elevated the Ryder Cup into the upper echelons of sporting occasions.
4. At the drive-in
We all have our personal favourites between Caddyshack and Happy Gilmore, and then there’s Tin Cup, and The Legend of Bagger Vance, and The Greatest Game Ever Played, and, more recently, Tommy’s Honour.
Golf’s plight on the projector is a Cinderella story of its own.