It was a historic weekend in Kohler, Wisconsin as the United States Ryder Cup team won the 43rd edition of these epic matches.  As an avid Stick & Hack reader, you may recall an article from September 8th listing the five keys to victory Stricker needed to pull off such a historic win and recapture the cup. Let’s take a quick look back and see how those ingredients helped Captain Stricker cook up a huge win. 

  1. Toughen it up! The United States average world ranking was 9. The first time a US team was ever under 10! Eight of the top ten players in the world ranking were on our team. Kerry Haigh (PGA, Chief Championships Officer) alongside Captain Stricker needed to make the course as hard as they could. They did and they catered it perfectly to our side. Drivable Par 4’s complimented by really challenging pin locations on the Par 3’s. Our length alone gave us an unstoppable edge on the Par 5’s which all added up to a ten-point win. 
  2. Don’t fall for the fan trick. The European team had little to no fan support. After seeing the Solheim Cup stage, we knew this was going in. The United States not only engaged the fans, but they also embraced them. Leading the way was none other than Bryson DeChambeau who stole the moment on several occasions with his aggressive play and self-deprecating banter.
  3. Hey Strick, stick to the plan. This point may be the most important. The US squad nearly swept the first session of Friday AM Foursomes. When the PM pairings were released, groups were broken up and hot players were sitting. This was a defining moment for the match. Steve Stricker believed in his plan and stuck with his strategy. Historically, the United States always kept out the hot hand. This time their analytics favored matchups and rest. Certainly, a strong strategy considering the results. Only one player competed in five matches and every US team member contributed at least one point! 
  4. Put on a putting display. It’s extremely difficult to name the player who putted best. Each time the television transitioned, there was another American sinking an important stroke with the flatstick. Much was made of our six rookies. The “Stricker 6” helped accumulate over 15 points and in doing so put on a putting display likely to make Ian Poulter jealous. The best part, they did it in style. Whether making putts with their hoodie on or driving the first green and sinking the eagle stroke, America blitzed the team competition with incredible instincts on the greens. 
  5. That short memory wasn’t really tested. I urged the Americans to act like goldfish. A pop-culture theme made popular by coach Ted Lasso. Well, the US squad never really needed a ten second memory. They never lost a session and while television was trying to make Sunday competitive all the viewers saw was a sea of red on the match scoreboard. The United States hasn’t won a foreign Ryder Cup match since 1993. Pack this point away for Rome in two years, I believe you’ll need it to overcome our thirty-year drought. 

We can’t be complimentary enough to the American side. From the fan experience to the final score Captain Stricker, the PGA of America and basically all involved painted a modern masterpiece. Europe is a very bright bunch and I’m sure they were taking notes. 

As for now, I’m going to celebrate a couple things: a record setting American win, a fabulous PGA show and the fact golf just continues to get more and more popular. If you’re reading this, then you know. But there’s a lot more sticks and hacks out there. If you felt anything this weekend, use it as inspiration to continue bringing more great people into this incredible game.

 

Check out Keith’s article from September 8th to read Keith’s five keys to victory.

Keith Stewart

Keith Stewart is a PGA Professional and storyteller. He has built a unique marketplace perspective through two decades in the golf industry. As a professional, he has worked at many prestigious clubs on the east coast, most notably, Isleworth Country Club from 1998 to 2003, home to Tiger Woods at the time. Currently, Keith uses his talent as the host of the ProShow on ESPN radio across the New York City market. His expertise in the industry blended with a comedic pop-culture filter entertains his listeners. He's a 5-time award winning PGA Professional who brings credibility to any discussion covering the world of sports. Keith resides in Hopewell, NJ with his wife Laurie and their two kids Owen and Abbey. He's a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and an avid golfer.