Having just dedicated a lot of sleeping time to watching the Presidents Cup in the last week, I can’t help but feel it truly is the poor cousin of the Ryder Cup, the International Team has no real identity and therefore no real support. The usually boisterous Australians were an insipid bunch and that was while the Internationals were winning! Make no mistake there was some great golf played and some wonderful sub-plots played out but…
If you compare this to the Ryder Cup over the same period there is no contest as a sporting spectacle, The crowds, the golf, the hype and the tradition. It is simply awesome! Every Drive, chip, putt, concession and handshake is dissected and deliberated ad infinitum.
The question is with the ever-expanding base of the game of golf outside of the USA and Europe, how long will it be before there is a legitimate clamouring by others excluding the incumbents for a crack at the Seed Merchants trophy and is it at all feasible.
Firstly, I will be the first to admit there would be many stumbling blocks to such process, here are a couple.
Redefining the competitive Territories
How would the teams be made up?
Personally, probably a hugely controversial conversation with redefining teams as follows:
The America’s, Europe, Asia and Afro/Australasia.
This may leave a huge scowl on many an American face but in truth would represent the PGA Tour extremely well with Canada and Mexico already having events in the PGA Calendar and the American Administrators already heavily involved on the Professional tour throughout Latin America. Is this jump too difficult to imagine?
How would Events Work?
- Two Events take place (Even Years)
1. The Ryder Cup – the first one Featuring the America’s and Europe
2. Another Cup – Featuring Asia v Afro/Australasia
- One Event takes place
The Presidents Cup – Featuring Losers of Ryder Cup v Winners of Other Cup
The winners of the Presidents Cup would then earn the right to challenge for the Ryder Cup the following year.
This would definitely raise the profile of the Presidents Cup!
There would be monster hills to overcome for a process like this to happen among those some venues, particularly on the American side who has selected venues through 2036, while the Europeans have venues for their next two hosting of the biennial event (Italy and Ireland).
Further this the Presidents Cup is actually a wholly owned property of the PGA Tour. And it would require some letting go from the Americans to get this done.
There will be a clattering of many in the old guard’s drums of messing with tradition and there has always been fertile ground in golf for the traditionalists, a sport that holds dearly to many of its traditions. Even this sport though is constantly transforming. The Europeans have, migrating from Great Britain to Great Britain and Ireland and now Europe (that final move leading the team on the eastern side of the Atlantic to be the pre-eminent team in the contest in recent times).
Imagine the bean counters from both the European and PGA Tours quivering as they weigh up the financial cost being relegated from the Ryder Cup would mean.
These issues alone would probably doom the conversation before the first tee shot is hit, but without it the Presidents Cup will be doomed to be a totally unimportant, insignificant event.
A day after the Presidents Cup finished, and I battled to find any real column inches fresher than 15 hours relating to the event.
You want more from the Presidents Cup, then something dramatic like the writers thoughts above will be required.
It’s time for the final frontiers of Golf to be broadened and go where no Administrator has gone before.
(Ian Turner is an out of the box thinker, being different is not a problem for him and is a creative solution seeker.)