Ryder Cup: A Novice Gets It
USA won! I don’t know much about golf, but even I knew the Ryder Cup and our victory, was a huge deal. Golfers and fans came from all over the world to the great state of Minnesota to see their favorites compete for the cup. As someone that has never actually played golf (unless mini golf or FootGolf count), I wasn’t as excited as everyone around me about this big event coming to town. I get it now.
I had been told the Ryder Cup would be very different from any other golf event (but I’ve never been to another golf event), so I envisioned lots of khaki and respectful silence. I was very pleasantly surprised when I walked onto the grounds on Friday morning and saw a group of people in bald eagle masks and American flag outfits, cowboys with gigantic hats, and a variety of other crazy suits and outfits from Americans and Europeans alike. The thing that everyone had in common was a huge smile and obvious happiness to be there.
It was very cold on Friday morning, but there was so much energy and excitement at Hazeltine that you couldn’t help but get caught up in it. Chants of “USA USA USA” and “I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN, I BELIEVE THAT WE WILL WIN” were all around, raising the level of enthusiasm and my expectations for the event all-around.
After soaking up the atmosphere, I watched all the golfers tee off on the first hole and was happy to note that no one ever knew where the ball landed right away (Is it to the left? Did it go right?). It always seemed like everyone else always knew exactly what was going on all the time, but they don’t and it made me feel much better about my golf ball tracking skills. Of course everyone was still quiet when a golfer (Player? Participant? Champion?) was on the green and lining up their shot. Something I had not expected were the “Mobile Phone Policy Enforcers” that made more noise telling people to put their phones away than an actual phone on silent makes taking a photo, but like I said, I’m new to this golf thing.
On that note, I can only officially speak as a newbie, but I thought the Ryder Cup was amazing and I had an awesome time. It was a really cool thing to see everyone come together and display their country pride, form friendships with people from other countries, take photos together, laugh and bond over their love for golf, sports, beer (yes, really), and so much more, all in my home (and favorite) state of Minnesota.
I didn’t understand why the Ryder Cup was going to be such a big deal, but now I am so grateful that I was able to go and be a part of something that is so important to so many. It was a once in a lifetime experience.