For an engrossing golf competition like the Ryder Cup, a team captain undoubtedly needs to keep up to some standards.
In this article, we’ll be discussing the selection process and criteria for Ryder Cup captains representing teams from both continents.
Responsibilities of A Ryder Cup Captain
A filial captain keeps all players in place, coordinating them while also playing alongside. When the time comes for the Ryder Cup competition, the captains from both teams discuss the play order, determine their teams’ lineups and keep everything in check for the oncoming match. Aside from all of that, a captain has to be an outstanding player individually, to set the standard for the rest of the members.
How is the Ryder Cup captain USA Selected?
While there aren’t any written rules for selecting captains, board members always keep some specific things in mind before they pick players. A team captain has to be completely fearless, dominant, good at making correct and precise decisions while also being a prominent player of the sport. That’s why we mostly see captains like Steve Stricker, who is a 12-time PGA tour winner.
As for the selection itself, The PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) of America decides the Ryder Cup captain for the American team.
First, the PGA’s executive committee discusses among themselves and drafts a recommendation letter to the board of directors. The board is composed of 14 district directors, 2 independent directors, 1 player director from the PGA tour, and 4 executive officers. These 21 board members then review the recommendations, carefully inspecting each person’s qualities before voting for a player to be crowned with the title of captain. American captains from the 2004 to 2012 seasons were all ripe in age, some in their mid-40s and some in their mid-50s. Age isn’t a matter, all they’re looking for is expertise and sweet success in championships.
How is the Ryder Cup Captain Europe Selected?
The European selection criteria is pretty much the same as the American standard. They go for players who’ve won at least one major golf championship such as Masters, U.S. Open, British Open or the PGA Championship. Captains are supposedly the strongest players of the team, so they can coach and lead everyone to victory. So, this is a very important detail to keep in mind when recruiting captains.
The selection process starts with the European Tour’s Tournament Committee making a choice for captain, under the supervision of the European Ryder Cup players and Stakeholders Board. When the committee reaches a decision, the board overviews it and finalizes the decision by validating it. Otherwise, new players need to be taken into consideration.
Because of the high standards, a captain has to maintain, there’s been quite a pattern of selected players aging around 40-50. They might seem benign at first, but their experience makes them proficient otherwise.
So, What about Ryder Cup Vice Captains?
Though they’re a step lower than captains, it’s wrong to undermine vice captains. They’re not just there for handing out orange slices and drinks!
Usually, the team captains pick the vice captains. They support the captains and work to overall improve their teams.
The selection is all up to the captain, really. We can usually spot past captains taking up the position of vice captain. But they can also be picked depending on their career performance and regularity on the PGA tour.