The U.S. Will Win The 2014 Ryder Cup!

2014 Ryder CupOkay, here me out before making my reservation for a suite at St. Elizabeth’s.  Right now the British bookmakers are sending the European Team off as an overwhelming 1:2 favorite in the 2014 Ryder Cup.  These are the same guys who had Tiger Woods at 16:1 for the 2014 Open Championship, and those were phony odds.  These are phony as well and are simply the reflection of the betting public’s irrational biases.

The miscalculation is being driven by the recent whippings administered by the Euros.  Since 1985 they are sporting a dominating 9-4-1 record but this year will be different.  A quick look at the data yields an interesting revelation.  The secret to Euro success has been their team approach to competition.  No individual is above the team.  They also enjoy terminal underdog status and have leveraged the American’s penchant for individual play over team.  Nobody epitomizes the “me first” mentality on the U.S. side more than Tiger Woods.    Is there a more narcissistic player on the planet?   The American’s have followed the lead of their best player and got caught up in the individual career achievement mentality, so much so that they struggle with the mindset of placing the team ahead of themselves.

Since 1985, the Euro’s hold a 58.5 to 53.5 advantage in points in foursomes (alternate shot) and a dominating 65.5 to 46.5 advantage in four balls – the two team formats.  Even as they have been dominated, the U.S. has still been able to maintain a slight edge in singles play (84.5 points to 83.5).  It’s clear they prefer singles to team.  With Woods off the U.S. team the mindset will change.  Forget about the big names on the Euro side, or lack of on the U.S.  I can’t wait to see who the U.S. version of Ian Poulter is and I don’t think the Euro’s are comfortable in the role of overwhelming favorite.  The huge underdog U.S. squad will get it done.

Throwing Tiger under the bus one more time, I’ll make my Final prediction:  U.S. 14 1/2 – Europe 13 1/2.

How do you think this plays out?

Managing Golf Burnout

thechallengesofmentalillness.com
thechallengesofmentalillness.com

Most of us absolutely love golf and can’t seem to get enough.  But have you ever burned out on golf because of too much play or practice?  I was last burned out a long time ago.  1986 to be exact.  I was working as an assistant club professional and my typical work day started at 6:00 a.m. and ran through 3:00 p.m (Tuesday -Sunday).  Every day after work, I’d  play with the members until dark, so I was at the course for 13-14 hours.  On Monday, my one day off, I spent my day practicing.  The over-saturation was suffocating and I was so spent that I hated the game for a period of time.

This week, Phil Mickelson hit the point and withdrew mid-tournament from the BMW Championship siting mental exhaustion.  Sergio Garcia skipped the Deutsche Bank Championship to stay fresh, even though it’s the middle leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.  Martin Kaymer has articulated how difficult it is to play for six consecutive weeks and how he dislikes living on the road for so long.

If top players can skip events because of burnout, and remain in overall contention, you are jeopardizing the integrity of your competition.  Imagine a star NFL quarterback skipping a playoff round because he was mentally fatigued – it would never happen.  I share The Grateful Golfer’s call for a format change, and to be honest, wouldn’t mind if they eliminated them all together.

The tour has taken it’s lead from the NFL and is attempting to make competitive golf a year-round cash cow.  The FedEx Cup transitions smoothly into the overlap schedule which is the start of the following year’s Tour schedule, complete with official money rankings.  This time used to be called the “Silly Season” and top pros still regard it as such.  Sorry, but my interest level drops after The PGA Championship is contested, and top players pulling out because of burnout should be a warning to the PGA Tour that they’ve exceeded the point of diminishing returns.  Their season is too long, they’re cheapening their product, and they need to scale back.

As mentioned, I haven’t been burned out for many years, but occasionally will lose a level of focus and desire.  It usually coincides with the start of football season (now) and it’s a sign for me to take a few weeks off – usually until I start to miss the game.  That’s exactly where I’m at right now and will taking a break until early October.

Have you ever been truly burned out on golf?  If so, how did you handle it?