RYDER CUP REDRESS
I write regarding John Huggan’s ‘Straight Talking’ in the December issue on the various aspects of Ryder Cup European Team selection, and his final word of the article – “discuss”. So let’s “discuss”.
The argument of Tour versus Tour, at least for the past 30 years, is not contentious. And it should not be, as it is clear to all and sundry who wish to earn a living on the back of the European Tour that a transparency of loyalty to the Tour is expected.
Paul Casey, in clearly stating that by relinquishing his European Tour membership in favour of the more lucrative PGA circuit, as is Russell Knox. So they cannot deserve to be favoured over European Tour stalwarts or young and promising players like Thomas Pieters and Matt Fitzpatrick, who have earned the “right” to be an automatic selection.
Others who also qualify for the PGA Tour so prepare their diaries for the year across the two tours accordingly, they deserve all they earn – and vice versa.
And, John, the selection process will always identify the best players in each side over the qualifying period, whatever that happens to be. Your suggestion that the European Tour has put out under-strength teams is laughable, if not a little insulting to the members of past teams that have been so successful. Think Muirfield Village in ’87 – Seve, Jose Maria, Nick, Ian, Sandy, Bernhard, Sam, et al – under strength? I think not, and this has been carried through each Ryder Cup meeting since then.
Your view that a string of defeats is inevitable is not one that is shared. And if it ain´t broke, don´t fix it!!
George Gillanders, Marbella
Is golf at club level in terminal decline? I ask this because most clubs in my area of north-west Glasgow now have reduced member numbers.
My nine-year-old son is the only one in his class who plays golf at all. At the moment he plays for free under my adult membership until he is 10. Then he becomes a cadet and the fee goes up to £125.
When I was his age in the early 1980s, most of my classmates played. In fact at our primary school we actually had a competition which was played over four rounds. I think this participation level was probably largely due to having three local municipal courses we could play. I distinctly remember my father coming home at the start of April with our golf ticket for the year. This allowed us to play as often as we liked for 12 months.
It cost £4.80 and in the summer holidays you had to book a time as there were boys queued up to play every eight minutes. I have such fond memories of playing with my pals and brother at this time.
I am perhaps being too nostalgic but today’s generation of boys are very few golfers. I can see how my son will lose interest if he doesn’t have boys his own age to play with. I do feel that the governing bodies are not really doing enough to try and encourage boys and girls to try golf. Perhaps local clubs could try and engage more with the schools to try and introduce children to the game? Before it’s too late.
Roland Leslie, Email