Franken 9 Couples Scramble–Ghoulish Golfers Social

Come join us for LocalGolfer.com’s inagural Franken 9–Couples Scramble at Eagle Point Golf Club. The first of its kind, this Halloween themed event promises to be one of the most haunting golf social events of the year!  Bring your mate and enjoy 9 holes of fun golf, beer and wine tasting, and dinner.

TaylorMade, Henry Griffitts, and RAKE Sand Wedge Reps will be on hand to demo the latest in golf equipment.  There will be on course games, and prizes, and a Best Costume award, so dress up as your favorite ghoulish character and enjoy the golf as well as the social camaraderie of other couples who love to golf!  We have been told that Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein will be there as well as a few of the walking dead. You can Count Dracula in on this one.  He says it’s a tournament he can really sink his teeth into.a eagle point

Franken Nine jpeg

 

 

Ryder Cup 101–Players, Predictions, Everything You Need To Know

2014 Ryder Cup

Image: www.rydercup.com

In a three-part series, Golf Writer, Keith Cook, looks at the History of the Ryder Cup, the two different eras of Ryder Cup competition, and lastly, gets specific with 2014’s players and predictions.

PART III: PLAYERS, PREDICTIONS, EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

The 2014 Ryder Cup promises to be one of the most competitive in recent history and I say, “It’s about time!” I don’t know about you, but as an American, I’m tired of hearing, “Ole, Ole, Ole, Ole” at the end of The Ryder Cups and trying to accept the loss like a mature golf fan.

Thankfully, “hope springs eternal” in 2014, because it’s very apparent, the American players are sick of losing too. For the first time since 2008, there appears to be real energy to win the cup back – home soil or not. However, just wanting to win won’t get it done in 2014, because Team Europe wants to win too – and they’re pretty good.

Golf’s recent news has been filled with discussions about the selection process, the timelines for selection, and this year’s Captain’s picks. The way I see it, we can debate all of that later, because just one week from today, Team USA and Team Europe tee it up in Scotland! There is genuine excitement in the air, so let’s take a look at the 2014 Ryder Cup.

 

Photo Courtesy: www.rydercup.com

Photo: www.rydercup.com

RYDER CUP FORMAT

The Ryder Cup is a biennial team versus team golf competition, conducted over three-days of play, using three different match play formats: Fourball, Foursomes, and Singles Match Play.

On each of the first two days, 4-Fourball matches and 4-Foursomes matches are played. On the third (and final) day, 12 singles matches are played using match play format.

Fourball: A golf competition format in which two sides, each consisting of two golfers, play each other using better ball format scoring (each golfer in the match plays his or her own ball throughout – four balls in play, hence the name).

  • Scoring Example: Players A & B (Team 1) versus Players C & D (Team 2). On the first hole, Player A scores 5 and Player B scores 4. Team 1’s score for Hole 1 is 4 (its low ball). Player C scores 6 and Player D scores 5, Team 2’s score on the hole is 5. Therefore, Team 1 wins the first hole of the match, 4 to 5.

Foursomes: A golf competition format in which two sides, each consisting of two golfers, alternate hitting the same ball and play the ball until holed. Foursomes is also known as “alternate shot.”

  • Scoring Example: Players A & B (Team 1) versus Players C & D (Team 2). Player A (of Team 1) tees off on Hole #1. Player C (of Team 2) tees off on Hole #1. Player B (of Team 1) goes to Player A’s ball and hits the team’s second shot, then Player A (Team 1) would hit the third shot, and so on until the ball is holed. Players C & D (Team 2) would play in the same manner until their ball is holed. Therefore, if Team 1’s Foursome/alternate shot score was 4 and Team 2’s Foursome/alternate shot score was 5, Team 1 wins the first hole of the match, 4 to 5.
  • *In Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, and Solheim Cup play, strict Foursomes rules are observed; meaning each team must decide (prior to the match beginning), which player will tee off on all odd-numbered holes (1,3,5, etc.) and which player will tee off on all even-numbered holes (2,4,6, etc.).

Singles Match Play: Singles Match Play is a golf competition format in which a player earns a point for each hole in which they have bested their opponents score; as opposed to stroke play, in which the total number of strokes is counted over one or more rounds of 18 holes. Each player’s win/loss/tie in their match, is added to the overall team total for The Ryder Cup.

FINAL: The total points available in Ryder Cup competition is 28. Tie matches, in any format, result in ½ points being awarded. If an overall tie of 14/14 is achieved after three days of play, the team currently defending The Ryder Cup, will retain the Cup until the next match.

 

TEAM ROSTERS & PLAYER RECORDS

  • TEAM USA: Team USA’s 12-man roster is comprised of nine former Ryder Cup players and three Ryder Cup rookies. Based on Team USA’s recent Ryder Cup record of 1-4 over the last five Ryder Cups, it should come as no surprise, Team USA’s individual records pale in comparison to those of the European players.

TEAM USA PLAYER ROSTER (Current, A-Z)

Team USA (Image: www.rydercup.com / LocalGolfer)

Team USA (Image: www.rydercup.com / LocalGolfer)

 

  • TEAM EUROPE: Team Europe’s 12-man roster is comprised of nine former Ryder Cup players and three Ryder Cup rookies. Team Europe’s individual records over the last five Ryder Cups are impressive, with Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, and Sergio Garcia leading the way.

TEAM EUROPE PLAYER ROSTER (Current, A-Z)

Team Europe (Image: www.rydercup.com / LocalGolfer)

Team Europe (Image: www.rydercup.com / LocalGolfer)

 

2014 PREDICTIONS & PROGNOSTICATIONS

Crystal BallWhen Team USA begins their journey across the Atlantic, they do so fully realizing they will be arriving in Scotland as the underdog. Away from home soil, it won’t be an easy to take down the tough European squad, but there are a few critical factors in America’s favor.

Photo: www.gleneagles.com

PGA Centenary at Gleneagles – Photo: www.gleneagles.com

1) VENUE: PGA® Centenary Golf Course at Gleneagles, Scotland.

Designed by Jack Nicklaus, and opened in 1993, PGA® Centenary at Gleneagles is described as a modern classic. Nicklaus famously described PGA® Centenary as: “The finest parcel of land in the world, I have ever been given to work with.”

At 7,296 yards from the tips, PGA® Centenary will provide a difficult challenge for both Team USA and Team Europe. However, when you look at the course as giving one side an advantage or disadvantage, it’s pretty even up – with maybe a slight advantage given to the Americans due to its design.

With wide fairways, and big and undulating greens . . . other than being in Scotland, the course will play much like that of a typical “American” course with long, high tee shots and carries to specific areas of the greens required for success – conditions American golfers are much more familiar with.

Additionally, be prepared for both Team Captains to highly strategize pairings and playing time based on the physical challenge of the terrain and design of the course itself. Having played PGA® Centenary in 2013, I found the course difficult to walk and traverse. There are large distances between greens and next tees, and the hilly, up and down layout will make 36-holes in one day, not only a mental challenge, but a physical one as well.

2) TEAM CAPTAIN: With respect to European Team Captain Paul McGinley, the Americans brought out the big guns when they selected Tom Watson as the Team USA Captain for 2014. Although it’s true Team Captains never strike a golf shot; strategy, team motivation, and controlling the momentum will fall squarely on the Captain’s shoulders. Tom Watson has the edge here, and should provide Team USA with strong leadership and the motivation to get it done at Gleneagles. Don’t get me wrong, Paul McGinley will be a great leader for the Europeans as well, but just like in all sports, it’s hard to defend a championship.

USA Flag3) PICKS & PREDICTIONS: It should come as no surprise, that as an American, I’m picking Team USA to win the 2014 Ryder Cup. However, it’s not a blind pick and not one without reason. The majority of Team USA is coming into the event playing strong, but most importantly, is HIGHLY MOTIVATED to win. With the 2012 “Miracle at Medinah” loss still fresh and stinging, “redemption” is the theme for Team USA in 2014.

I look forward to a very competitive Ryder Cup, but also expect the competition may get a little “chippy” at times. Even with emotions running high on both sides, I’m sure great sportsmanship will rule the day (it is only golf by the way), but the build up to this Ryder Cup is unlike those seen in the recent past – so, expect some fireworks from time to time.

In my opinion, the key to victory for the Americans will come from Team USA’s performance in the Foursomes (alternate shot) format. Not typically a strong event for Team USA, look for Captain Tom Watson to burn the midnight oil working on his pairings for this difficult, but vital Ryder Cup format. If Team USA is to win the Ryder Cup in 2014, they’ll need to do well (or at least break even) in Foursomes.

BOTTOM LINE: Tight scoring, competitive throughout, Americans pulling away in the end. TEAM USA: 15 ½ – TEAM EUROPE: 12 ½

2014 Prediction

BIO: Keith Cook is a Writer and Contributing Editor for localgolfer.com. He is a retired 29-year US Military Veteran and Ashford University Alumnus living in Michigan. Follow Keith and Local Golfer on Twitter @_KeithCook and @LocalGolfer

Read more from Keith, Click here

Ryder Cup 101-The Two Eras Of The Ryder Cup

Photo Courtesy: www.rydercup.com

Photo Courtesy: www.rydercup.com

In a three-part series, Golf Writer, Keith Cook, looks at the History of the Ryder Cup, the two different eras of Ryder Cup competition, and lastly, gets specific with 2014’s players and predictions.

Part II: Ryder Cup Eras

Depending on your view of the world, you’re either bothered by the fact that Team USA is 3-7-0 (Win/Loss/Tie) over the last 10 Ryder Cups, or you’re a “glass half full” kind of person, and remind yourself, the U.S. is 25-12-2 overall in Ryder Cup competition.

If you’re a Team Europe fan, your glass is probably spilling over with a 7-3-0 record over the last 10 competitions, or maybe you’re that “glass half empty” person, and the overall record of 12-25-2 still eats at you from time to time.

Either way, both perspectives have merit, and either way . . . at least we’re talking about The Ryder Cup again!

However, whenever you discuss Ryder Cup records, and many of us will over the next few weeks; it’s important to keep in mind the perspective of the two different eras of Ryder Cup play; Pre- and Post-Team Europe.

Image: www.rydercup.com

Image: www.rydercup.com

RYDER CUP PRE-EUROPE (1927 – 1977) – USA v/s GB&I

From 1927-1977, The Ryder Cup was one sided to say the least. During these years, and through 22 matches, the tally was Team USA 18-3-1 over Team Great Britain and Ireland (GB&I). The competition was not much of a competition at all, and with the USA either winning or retaining the cup for 10 straight events from 1959-1977; the event was on the brink of losing its importance in golf.

There were many reasons for Team USA’s dominance over the period, but when looked at objectively, the contest was clearly not weighted fairly based on population demographics. With America’s population being nearly five-times as large as Great Britain and Ireland, our pool of players was simply deeper. The occasional upset would happen, but overall, the die was cast before each competition began.

With The Ryder Cup quickly becoming an afterthought, visionaries from both sides stepped forward to save it. The two most important were John Jacobs (OBE), the first Director General (and founding father) of the European Tour, and American Jack Nicklaus.

SAVING THE RYDER CUP

From as early as 1971, John Jacobs began his campaign to have players from Continental Europe, particularly the tour stars from the European Tour, included in The Ryder Cup. The idea seemed like the next logical step in Jacobs’ mind, seeing first hand, the growing success and cosmopolitan mix of players from all nationalities on the European Tour.

Although Jacobs’ ideas were making headway, it wasn’t until the 1977 Ryder Cup at Royal Lytham & St Annes, when real progress was made. In 1977, Jack Nicklaus, working in concert with PGA of America President Henry Poe, met with officials from the PGA of Great Britain and discussed ideas emphasizing the necessity to improve the competitive level of the contest. Nicklaus stressed: “It is vital to widen the selection procedures if The Ryder Cup is to continue to enjoy its past prestige.”

Jacobs’ and Nicklaus’ passion and ideas won the day, and soon after the conclusion of the 1977 Ryder Cup, the PGA of Great Britain announced the decision to change the team make-up and selection process. The decision stated: The Ryder Cup, beginning in 1979, would “include players from the European Tournament Players’ Division … (and) that European Members would be entitled to play on the team.”

This decision in retrospect, saved The Ryder Cup by better balancing the field, in terms of population demographics, and signaled a new era in Ryder Cup competition.

Image: www.rydercup.com

Image: www.rydercup.com

RYDER CUP POST-EUROPE (1979 – Present) – USA v/s EUROPE

The 1979 Ryder Cup, held at The Greenbrier in West Virginia, was the first Ryder Cup played under the expanded European selection format. The first two Europeans to make the overseas squad were two Spaniards – Severiano Ballesteros and Antonio Garrido. Looking back at the historical decision, the PGA of Great Britain must consider themselves genius for having allowed Seve Ballesteros into The Ryder Cup.

Quite honestly, The Ryder Cup would not be the same as we know it today, without Seve Ballesteros; (20-12-5) over 37 Ryder Cup matches.

The 1979 competition also signaled a change in competitive formats. The new format was revised to play 4 fourball and 4 foursomes matches on each of the first two days and 12 singles matches on the final day. The total points awarded were 28. This format continues today.

With the new team selection rules in place, Team Europe has done quite well over the years. Since 1979, the competition has been very competitive, with Team Europe holding the honors with an overall 9-7-1 record. The tie in 1989, resulted in Europe retaining the cup.

MOVING FORWARD

Whether your viewpoint is Europe’s 9-7-1 record since 1979, or Team USA’s 25-12-2 overall dominance, the upcoming Ryder Cup matches, September 26-28 at Gleneagles, Scotland, should be exciting to watch.

2014 Ryder CupAlthough odds appear against it, I’m a big believer this year signals a comeback for Team USA . . . but let’s discuss that, in Part III.

BIO: Keith Cook is a Writer and Contributing Editor for localgolfer.com. He is a retired 29-year US Military Veteran and Ashford University Alumnus living in Michigan. Follow Keith and Local Golfer on Twitter @_KeithCook and @LocalGolfer

Read more from Keith, Click here

Ryder Cup 101–History of The Ryder Cup

Photo Courtesy: www.rydercup.com

Photo Courtesy: www.rydercup.com

In a three-part series, Golf Writer, Keith Cook, looks at the History of the Ryder Cup, the two different eras of The Ryder Cup, and lastly, gets specific with 2014’s players and predictions.

Part I: HISTORY

As we know it in 2014, the Ryder Cup is a biennial golf competition between professionals from the United States and Europe. However, the original concept of the team matches began to take shape with two unofficial competitions between Great Britain and the United States beginning in 1921.

In 1921, the first of these unofficial matches was played at Gleneagles in Scotland . . . yes, the same Gleneagles, which is hosting the 2014 competition. The second match was held five years later at Wentworth Club in Surrey, England in 1926.

Great Britain won both of the early unofficial matches, but it was the match in 1926, which changed golf’s history. In 1926, amongst those in the gallery, was an Englishman named Samuel Ryder.

Samuel Ryder (1858 - 1936) Courtesy: sryder.com

Samuel Ryder (1858 – 1936)
Image Courtesy: sryder.com

SAMUEL RYDER

Image Courtesy: sryder.com

Image Courtesy: sryder.com

Samuel Ryder, a prominent English citizen and staunch British patriot, was a wealthy man who made his fortune through the novel idea of selling penny packets of seed through commercial and mail order sales. Ryder’s new idea, during a time of unrest and poverty in Britain, made it affordable for everyone within society to plant gardens and enjoy horticultural pursuits.

Dedicated and hard working throughout his life, Ryder’s health began to suffer from the stress and demands of business and civic pursuits. To provide an outlet to work, Ryder, at the age of 49, was encouraged to take up golf to get out into the fresh air and enjoy some exercise.

Samuel Ryder, having never played the game before, fell in love with golf and (like all of us) became obsessed with getting better. In fact, so obsessed with improving, Ryder employed Golf Professional, Abe Mitchell, one of the British golfing greats of his era, as his personal instructor.

 

UNOFFICIAL COMPETITION to RYDER CUP

Photo Courtesy: www.rydercup.com

Photo Courtesy: www.rydercup.com

Fast-forward to 1926, and the competition at Wentworth, where Samuel Ryder was front and center at nearly every match cheering Great Britain on to victory. Particularly exciting for Ryder was watching his personal instructor, Abe Mitchell team with George Duncan, to defeat the Open Champion Jim Barnes and the great Walter Hagen in a match.

It was this victory, during the 1926 matches, that is given credit for inspiring Ryder to ensure the competition became more formal and more official. “We must do this again”, Ryder is quoted as saying in the celebration after the British win. Through his personal influence, financial backing, and the gaining of popular support, the very next year, 1927, the Ryder Cup was officially born.

Also beginning in 1927 and lasting until this day, the prominent and striking gold cup trophy, “The Ryder Cup”, stands as the prize for the competition. The original trophy was commissioned and donated by the competitions namesake, Samuel Ryder. In a bit of golf trivia, the original cost of the trophy was £250 (a large sum of money at the time) and the small golfing figure atop the cup, as requested by Samuel Ryder, stands as a lasting memorial to Abe Mitchell.

The Samuel Ryder Foundation

The Samuel Ryder Foundation aims to raise awareness of Samuel Ryder’s broader achievements in business, horticulture, public service, philanthropy and sport. Its main objective is to celebrate Ryder’s character and principles and raise money to promote activities that further these values and continue achievements in his name.

(L-R) Sandy Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA, Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Europe Director with Patricia Fulton, Bob Reitemeier and David Holwell of the Samuel Ryder Foundation (EuropeanTour.com)

(L-R) Sandy Jones, Chief Executive Officer of the PGA, Richard Hills, Ryder Cup Europe Director with Patricia Fulton, Bob Reitemeier and David Holwell of the Samuel Ryder Foundation (EuropeanTour.com)

In May 2014, Ryder Cup Europe, donated £25,000 (~$40,000) to the Samuel Ryder Foundation. The funds were given to help immortalize the founder of golf’s biggest team event, with a bronze statue in his home city of St Albans, England. Speaking at the ceremony, Sandy Jones, Chief Executive of the PGA, said: “Samuel Ryder’s generous gift in offering the gold chalice for the competition in 1927 has proved to be one of worldwide sport’s most enduring legacies.”

For more information on Samuel Ryder, visit the Foundation’s website www.sryder.com or send an email to info@sryder.com.

BIO: Keith Cook is a Writer and Contributing Editor for localgolfer.com. He is a retired 29-year US Military Veteran and Ashford University Alumnus living in Michigan. Follow Keith and Local Golfer on Twitter @_KeithCook and  @LocalGolfer

Read more from Keith, Click here