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Monday, September 20, 2010

Has the Ryder Cup jumped the Shark?

Fonzie was the first to do it, TV comedy Friends did it and now the Ryder Cup has joined the illustrious roll call of shark jumpers. There are not one, but two instances this week that conclusively prove that the governing bodies of the event have lost the plot.

The first, reported by the vigilant Stephanie Wie is that the wives of the players have been given a $7,500 dress allowance for the opening Gala Night dinner. No, that's not for the whole team, that's each. Just another great example of how out of touch the governing bodies are with the state of the game. Twenty-four millionaires are given a total of $180,000 for dresses - in Wales that would buy a row of houses, not a row of sequins!

I'm not quite sure what seed entrepreneur, Samuel Ryder would make of such an outrageous waste of money. I suspect he was a more frugal man. When he came up with the simple idea for The Ryder Cup in 1927 it was a match. Just a match between Great Britain & Ireland and the United States of America. Professional golfers playing a good course in a team format designed to find the best twelve. No wives, no hoopla, just the players and their caddies walking down the fairways. And now look at it, $7,500 dresses for the wives when the economy is in dire straights, 4 vice captains on each team, inferior golf courses and more hangers on than a U2 concert.

I wish we could get back to Mr. Ryder's original idea of 12 v. 12. I know it's not going to happen and that's a shame. The money generated by the event supports European Tour golf (when in Europe) and the PGA of America (when in the US) but one can look back and dream of a purer time in the game when the game was more important than the haute couture.

Of course another week couldn't go by without a Monty story. This time he is reported to have requested that the European Team room be soundproofed. The possibility of an American overhearing his inspirational nightly team talk is just too much for him and so, as above, more money wasted on a ludicrous request. Just who is saying "yes" to this request...we deserve to know. And while you are rebuilding the room please ensure that all the green M&Ms are removed from the European team room (they deserve yet another Spinal Tap moment)

Note - Surely, the $7,500 dress allowance will be spun by the time you read this...either in charitable donations or disappearing altogether

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