Hello friends, tomorrow starts the biennial tournament that makes even the casual golf fan bleed Red, White, and Blue. Yes, the 2016 Ryder Cup will officially be underway at Hazeltine in Chaska, Minnesota; and as much as it pains me to say it, I think us flag-waving, Bud Heavy chugging, red-blooded Americans are in for a long week. Don’t get me wrong, I think we have a great chance. But if I had to bet money on the ordeal I’d throw all my money on the Euros this time around. And I hope I’m dead fucking wrong. Once again we’ve been making way too much noise before the start of things and people like Phil are running their pie-holes before they’ve even hit a shot. The Euro Team has been quietly going about their business and I feel we’ve patted our own back so many times we’re expecting the trophy already.
But that’s not the point of this piece. No the point of this one is the PGA of America has us already playing to a disadvantage before the first tee ball has even been struck. Because in Late September they chose to hold the tournament in FUCKING MINNESOTA. You know know what that place is eerily similar to weather-wise this time of year? Well if you don’t I’ll tell you… Europe. Most American Professionals live (and grew up) in some of the warmest parts of the country. So why are we holding these tournaments where it’s usually raining with high temps in the 50’s? To be fair, we’ve caught a break this year where it’s supposed to get up to 70 degrees most days without any rain… But come on, the next two times on the schedule in the US the cup will be played in Wisconsin and New York. WHY!?
J. Camm and I had a conversation on Twitter earlier and he brought up a fascinating point, it’s held there so they can sell all of the merchandise possible (MONEY GRAB!!!). While I hope that’s not the case it got me thinking, where should it be played? Well here’s a good start…
1. Quail Hollow (home of the Wells Fargo Championship and the 2017 PGA Championship)
The PGA of America is very finicky about where they hold tournaments. For some reason they have a huge boner for Herb Kohler’s ridiculous monstrosity of a golf course at Whistling Straits even though you’ll have a hard time getting professionals to say even one good sentence about that place. But I digress. Quail Hollow is a BEAST, it’s in Charlotte, NC which would hold true for warm weather. And Late September/October is the usually the best time of year to have a true test of golf in the South as that’s when the grass hits its peak. Oh yeah, its PGA Tour Stop always draws the biggest names each year but the winners list is absolutely dominated by Americans. Only Rory McIlroy and Vijay Singh are the Non-American winners since the Wells Fargo Championship’s inception. Given that the PGA of America gave them the greenlight for the PGA Championship next year, this one is a no-brainer.
2. Riviera Country Club (home of the LA Open or Norther Trust/Genesis Open)
Yet another fantastic golf course in a warm climate spot that always draws the biggest names. It’s in Los Angeles (who doesn’t love SoCal?) and the PGA has held a PGA Championship there. The PGA Tour rolls through town there early in its season and it is yet another spot that always draws the big names out. Here’s another big reason to hold it there… A European hasn’t won on that course since 1997 (Nick Faldo). While there have been a few international champions, the winners circle is also dominated by Americans there as well.
3. TPC Sawgrass (home of The Players Championship)
This one made the list because outside of one U.S. Amatuer Championship, this place has only hosted The Players. But how cool would it be to see 24 of the world’s best go at it in match play on this layout? The final stretch of holes is always one of the most dramatic finishes in golf (plus you’ve got that pesky little island green on 17). Not to mention the course was built for spectators to watch golf. The track record of winners here is of course sporadic but I can’t think of a better place to cheer on Team USA than Ponte Vedra, FL.
4. Kiawah Island (host of the 2012 PGA Championship and the 1991 Ryder Cup aka War By The Shore)
I’m perplexed as to why the PGA doesn’t rotate this venue in more often. It’s a fantastic layout that held the most exciting Ryder Cup Matches up to then. It’s still hot as blazes in South Carolina that time of year and who doesn’t love the beach? The only real problem with the site is that there is one road in and out and logistics have always been somewhat of a headache in terms of getting there.
Honorable mentions, or places they could/should go but probably won’t: Shoal Creek (Birmingham, AL), Bay Hill (Orlando, FL), Sea Island (Sea Island, GA), Blue Monster Doral (Miami, FL), Torrey Pines (San Diego, CA)