It's now a two-horse race to hold the Ryder Cup in nine years – but England's chances have hit a snag. Alex Perry hopes we can work it all out in The Slam

Hello, welcome to this week’s edition of The Slam. It feels like all I do at the moment is bounce from the Saudi Super League to the Ryder Cup. Sometimes I feel a bit sassy and combine the two

We’re back on the Ryder Cup this time, folks, and it never fails to amuse me how far ahead the Americans plan for these sorts of things. They already have a host venue for 2037, for example.  

Many of the players that will pull on either red or blue that week are yet to even pick up a golf club. Some are currently babies. Or toddlers. Maybe they’ve just started school. Maybe my own soon-to-be three-year-old son is one of them. Perhaps I should get him a Congressional course guide for his birthday.   

We do things differently on this side of the Atlantic, though. We like to play it cool. Forget this two decades nonsense, we’re happy to give golf courses a paltry seven or eight years to get their houses in order. 

So far we have 2023 and 2027 – in Italy and Ireland respectively – in the bag. 

So naturally one of the big talking points in recent months has been about where our next home tie will be hosted.  

While nothing was rock solid, those little birdies informed us it was between four-time host The Belfry, the yet-to-be-built Hulton Park, near Bolton, and an unnamed venue on the continent.  

The breaking news this week is, as I learned this week through a reliable source, that The Belfry is out of the running. I’ve contacted them for confirmation, but it looks like we’re down to two.  

The stumbling block on the Hulton Park project – which I wrote about in a previous edition of The Slam – is that the locals aren’t that keen. 

“The vision,” they promise us alongside a £1.6 billion uplift to the economy, “is to create a world-class sport and healthy living destination capable of hosting the Ryder Cup alongside a golfing academy, new primary school, new community facilities and a mix of housing to suit different needs and community facilities.”

The problem is the locals are opposed and meetings to discuss plans continue to be postponed.

From a purely golf-related – and selfish – perspective, the argument is simply that we want a Ryder Cup in England again. 

Hoff in a huff

Absolutely outstanding stuff at the WM Phoenix Open this week when Charley Hoffman had a bit of a rant at the PGA Tour on his Instagram post after finding himself on the wrong side of the rules.

There is just so much going on here. Telling the Tour the players need protecting because his ball rolled into some water while simultaneously tagging the Saudi Golf League in the same post is one hell of a leap.

Wait. Does… does he think the Saudis won’t apply the Rules of Golf in their league? Just put me down for a birdie on every hole, mate.

Still, he had some support from expected sources.

This is beyond parody now. Clowns.

Who won this week?

The action at TPC Scottsdale was as marvellous as ever, and the tournament highlight was undoubtedly Sam Ryder’s ace at the stadium 16th.

That’s quite a bar tab…

And I’m not entirely sure why the Scottsdale Police Department were doing their own live reporting, but they did manage to catch the moment in this wonderful clip…

In the end it was Scottie Scheffler who earned his first PGA Tour title after a play-off win over Patrick Cantlay.

And while Scheffler may have won the tournament, it was sponsors’ exemption Sahith Theegala who won the hearts of the golf world. The 24-year-old challenged every step of the way, until a bogey at the 71st hole derailed him. But it was so fun, and rather emotional, too…

On this side of the Atlantic (and Mediterranean, and Persian Gulf), the DP World Tour’s Middle East swing came to a climax with a crushing five-shot, wire-to-wire win for Ryan Fox.

Meanwhile the first LET event of the year in Kenya came down to the very last putt…

Right, that’s enough from me for another week. Hey, you can follow me on Twitter if that’s your thing. (But only if you have nice things to say.)  

If you’re braving the cold in the coming days, play well. 

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Alex Perry

Editor

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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