Who better than Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson to sit on a task force investigating the poor performance of the American teams in the Ryder Cup in recent years?
Albert Einstein once said, “If you always do what you always did, you will always get what you always got.”
Of course, there are several ways to learn, including a study of what you are doing well and a study of what you are doing poorly.
Perhaps, the committee will consider the records of Phil and Tiger and learn from them.
Imagine two of the greatest players of all-time who can’t get along with each other as partners on the course will now sit down and make recommendations about a new winning formula for others to follow.
Considering neither one has a winning record, they should provide interesting points of view.
Undoubtedly, there is a monumental job facing the group and first on the agenda should be an analysis of the committee itself.
Are they the most knowledgeable people to perform this undertaking?
What resources do they have available to them?
What will be their mandate?
How should the process take place?
Is the group large enough or would smaller work better?
What are the short term goals and objectives?
What are they for the long term?
What is the time frame for change and/or results?
How often should they meet and is each committee member totally committed?
Given the names of the new task force, I don’t see one person who has the amount of time available to even begin the amount of research required.
In my opinion the most immediate essential is to hire a full time CEO/chairman/coordinator, someone who has some connection to golf, but also has a background in team building; a person who can extract the necessary information from every source and craft a viable, long0term plan.
The chosen person will have the skill set to develop a plan and pull it through the proper channels; a person with vision, contacts, experience and intelligence. This new person should have only one focus and not be diverted by outside interests like playing golf for a living.
Once the position of team leader is settled, they need to review the components of both winning and losing Ryder Cup teams from both sides.
What characteristics and personality traits produce winning numbers, who were behind-the-scene influences both positive and negative? Why do certain people excel in this environment while others don’t?
It’s no secret that the U.S. has a more than adequate record in singles, so why not interview the players who have the best records with a partner?
Europe dominates the team matches, but there have been Americans who were good at it. The new task force should spend some time with Billy Casper, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Lanny Watkins and J.C. Snead.
Have an exit interview with Tom Watson. After all, he has been the captain twice. He has a decent Ryder Cup record and he has actually been a winning captain.
Also meet with Ben Crenshaw, Paul Azinger, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer who are all past captains. Each should have something to contribute.
On the other side, it could prove advantageous to review the personalities, demeanor and playing styles of the opponents who have proven success.
I would study the winning formulae of the captains on both sides and the losing formulae of the Captains on both sides.
If you are going to attack this project, leave no stone unturned. In fact, I’d also review the job description of the captain to determine whether it is a ceremonial appointment or a working position.
There is a lot at stake.
The portion of the revenues generated for the European Tour sustains the European Tour. No Ryder Cup, no European Tour.
Not one marketing vehicle other than the upcoming Olympics is more effective at placing golf in front of both golfers and non-golfers.
Very few sporting events convey the goodwill and ambassadorship found at the Ryder Cup.
I hope the task force accomplishes something before the Americans lose their enthusiasm.