The 5 P’s of Ryder Cup Fever

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As a marketing consultant I am always referring to the 5 P’s of a good marketing plan/campaign in my work: Product, Price, Place, Promotion and People.

But when Ryder Cup Fever hits me as strongly as it has this year, I’m thinking more about these 5 P’s:

Passion
Pride/Patriotism
Players
Pairings
Pressure

Passion

Is there any event in golf that brings out the passion more than the Ryder Cup? Fedex Cup – Not even close!  President’s Cup – Yawn!  Solheim Cup – Sorry ladies, not even with the face painting.

Ryder Cup buzz, excitement and thrills are 2nd to none.

Of course, all individual golfers are passionate about their singular games (if fist pumps are any indication), but when you put the players into those two RC teams something magical happens.  The amount of passion is far greater than the sum of the individual hearts.  You can almost feel the energy through the TV. 

Ryder Cup 2006 at The K ClubAnd then there are those heart-wrenching moments which make you believe in a power greater than yourself.  How Darren Clarke ever managed to play so brilliantly in 2006 after the death of his wife I’ll never understand. 

And let’s not forget the flip side of the same coin – the pain. Will Hunter Mahan ever be allowed to redeem himself after that disastrous chip shot in 2010?  Sadly, not this year.  Even with two wins in 2012, his lackluster play later in the season did not gave Davis Love III the confidence to make him a Captain’s Pick.

Pride/Patriotism

Ryder Cup 2006 at The K ClubI have heard some say that the Euro’s are more patriotic in terms of “being a team” than the Americans, but that’s hogwash!  Sure, their bonds of friendships are forged throughout their years on tour as they often travel together to other foreign countries. But each player on the USA team feels as much pride and personal responsibility when playing for his country (AND his team).

As a Canadian I love that I can enjoy both teams without taking sides.  Instead, I cheer by pairings and players.  When Stricker, Watson or Snedeker are playing this month, I’ll be cheering for them.  When McIlroy, Poulter or McDowell play, my best wishes will go their way. If any of these are playing each other, I feel somewhat schizophrenic – I hop back and forth.  But in the end, I’m happy because one of my faves will always win (or tie).

I will not cheer, however, for anyone carrying a long putter.  Sorry folks, but that’s where I draw the line. 


Players

Personalities like Poulter and Garcia, who relish the camaraderie and competition, are what make the Ryder Cup so much more fun than standard stroke play events.  And who could ever forgot Boo Weekley’s Giddeeup in 2010…Priceless!

Pairings

Ryder Cup 2006 at The K ClubI love trying to figure out what strategies each captain will use when choosing his Captains Picks and Pairings.  Blunders have been known to happen (e.g. putting Phil and Tiger together), but even those disasters are fun to watch in a sadistic sort of way.

It must be hard pairing Tiger with anyone actually.  He’s not exactly known for being a “team player”, unless of course, you’re taking about “Team Tiger”.   But Stricker seems to be a good foil for him and brings out the occasional smile, which lights up the TV (and announcers).

Ryder Cup 2006 at The K Club
Meanwhile, Westwood and Clarke were a match made in Ryder Cup Heaven!  I am sad that Darren wasn’t able to make the team even with his Open win in 2011.

I’m also sad that Fowler wasn’t chosen this year.  He didn’t have the best performance in 2010, but he was a lot of fun to watch.

But it’s hard to argue with Captain Love’s logic in his choices.  I hope Rickie does what Sergio did last time – join the team as an assistant to Love.  His energy and attitude would really ad value to the team.

Pressure
Ryder Cup 2006 at The K Club
Even the best players in the world have succumbed to the pressure of the Ryder Cup, collapsing in what they hoped to be their finest hour.

Mark Calcavecchia’s surrender of his 4 hole lead to end up tied with Monty in 1991, and Langer’s 6-foot putting calamity that cost him his win that same year will never be forgotten by fans and pundits, but more importantly by the players themselves.  I wonder how long the nightmares lasted for them or if they still wake up in a cold sweat.

Less than two weeks to find out who will create the most lasting memories of this year’s Cup.  Regardless of who wins.  I just took a look at the 2012 Ryder Cup Odds and they’re showing the European’s winning at 11/8.  That kind of surprises me given it’s on US soil and the US have a pretty strong team this year.

I just hope it comes down to the final hour to keep the buzz going all weekend, and that all the players and captains walk away proud of themselves, their team and their countries.  But if one or two slip up and demonstrate that they are not infallible, it can only add to the excitement of this year’s event and create lasting memories for us to take to 2014.

Golfgal

Photo credits: Gontzal
Video credit: Rob

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