The U.S. Ryder Cup Captain Solution


Dear Whoever’s in Charge of the US Ryder Cup Team:

First off, I’m not here to criticize.  I mean, it’s quite obvious your guys played like my grandmother, and she’s been dead since 1946; but there’s no sense dwelling on it.  They did their, um, best.  Sort of.  Well, no, not really.  They actually soiled themselves, to put it bluntly.  But let’s say nothing further about it, shall we?

I am here to offer a solution, and an almost virtual guarantee that the US team can and will win again.  In 2020, in 2022, 2024, 2026, and beyond.  After that, few of the current crop will be on the team and by then, after five losses in a row, it may well be that the Euros will have given up and said, “hey, it’s been a great 101 years.  Now go home, and don’t come back.”

But until then, and right now, you need something that spells “relief”. And I don’t mean a stick of Rolaids.

You need to do two things…

One, don’t ever let Patrick Reed play on the team again.  Even if he’s number one in the world, and wins the Grand Slam twice between now and September 2020.  I think the American team hates him more than the European fans, and that’s saying something.  But it’s completely deserved.

The second thing is, and this is the actual kicker:


I know the team loved Jim Furyk and everything, and I’m not saying he did a bad job.  But can you imagine the utter shame, humiliation, and ridicule that would happen if the US team lost, and their coach was, I dunno, Betty White?

Talk about a motivating factor!

Surely, to a man, they would play their absolute guts out for a woman… especially a respected, loved, well-dressed woman with a nice voice.  Surely, in the current political climate, when women are close to never speaking to men ever again, this would be a Nobel-worthy strategy.

But of course, it can’t just be any woman.  It can’t be your wife, or mine, or Serena Williams.  It has to be a Perfect Woman.

Preferably, a woman who comes with no golf experience whatsoever, so that her mind is not contaminated in any way by Tom Watson, Phil Mickelson, Jean Van deVelde or any of John Daly’s ex-wives.

A woman who can teach the boys humility, aplomb, grace, dedication, perseverance, sportswomanship, joy, and laughter, and how to wear clothes that maybe look goofy even on Phil.  A woman who can be stoic under scrutiny, realistic in the face of adversity, and oh-so-chic while applying lipstick.  A woman who… well, you get the picture.

Now, having persuaded you, no doubt, of the wisdom of this strategy, the more important component is… who can it be, now?  (Today’s earworm courtesy of Men At Work.)

Having not made this woman-coach suggestion lightly, I have also given the woman-selection thing considerable thought.  It might be helpful, before revealing my recommendation, to list some of those candidates that I have rejected, and why… although I hasten to state that these are all fine women and their not being my number one recommendation has nothing to do with their character, ability, or whether I’d like to have dinner with them sometime.

  1. Betty White, the aforementioned. Would have been my selection anytime prior to 1974.  In fact, she might have been my selection for the first Ryder Cup team in 1927.  But invoking the name of Horton Smith, or Allen Ludden, may not have the desired effect.
  1. Charlize Theron. A truly serious candidate, but I worry about the photographs of team meetings, as all players would have their mouths gaping open, which wouldn’t play very well in the media.  And as we all know, the Ryder Cup is 50% golf, 50% public relations.
  1. Minnie Pearl. Another highly possible candidate, unfortunately deceased.  Which wouldn’t necessarily rule her out, but I gather her hat went back to the store after the funeral.
  1. Michelle Obama. Would have been my choice hands-down, but has consistently declared that she will not run, and will not serve if drafted.  You can lead a thoroughbred to water, but…
  1.  My wife.  Would be a fabulous choice.  She’d command respect, admiration, awe, and loyalty… and would get it, or else.  Unfortunately, her uncanny ability to make lists of chores that need to be done NOW (e.g., “sweep garage”, “tidy up furnace room”, “trim magnolia”, “give dog a bath”) would prevent the US team from either practicing, or playing the event.
  1. Gwyneth Paltrow. Certainly has the fashion sense to be captain, but just got remarried again and may be pre-occupied.  Also has a bit of a Patrick Reed thing going on with the rest of the world, so may be somewhat of a divisive influence.
  1. Paulina Gretzky. There are several angles working in her favour, for sure, but the rumour is her father refers to her and her sort-of husband as “Dumb & Dumber”.  So the respect factor may be somewhat lacking.  Also has unwanted golf experience.  Better used for swimsuit photos for the event.

There are others who made the long shortlist, not to mention the short longlist.  But let me end the suspense right here, right now, by telling you the US team could do no better than to select as their next – and permanent – Captain… drum roll please, maestro… Slappy, pull the curtain… ladies and gentlemen, I give you…


“Of course!” you may be saying to yourselves!!  The perfect selection!!

  • A woman who has been at the top, and at the bottom. (Currently resting at a casino near you.)
  • Has a great voice, even if some of you believe she peaked at “Where Did Our Love Go?”
  • Looks fabulous in white mink.
  • Still on good terms with her ex-husband, the Norwegian shipping magnate, so presumably can get good rates on baggage fees.
  • Has leadership experience, having “captained” a trio for at least five years (and by the way, that tiff with Flo was SO exaggerated in the press).
  • Commands respect: all team members and wives will be compelled to call her “Miss Ross”, as did all other inferior beings throughout her career.
  • Has been to Europe.
  • Chic with lipstick?
  • Experienced? Just ask Barry Gordy.

But above all, I think Miss Rosssss’s real secret sauce will be her motivational ability… her unmatched power to rally the team, the caddies, the fans, the entire universe…  when she stares straight into that beautiful gold Ryder Cup hardware and screams…

Ain’t no mountain high enough – OW!

Ain’t no valley low enough – say it again

Ain’t no river wide enough – hey

To keep me from yoooo-ooo…

Trust me, dude.  If you don’t hire this woman to take on the whole team, I guarantee it’ll be Nothing but Heartaches for the next 100 years.

Yours in golf,

Jimmy Deeks


Jim Deeks
Jim Deeks has been writing for Fairways for over a dozen years. He is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Open and Canadians Skins Game, and currently the Executive Producer of CANADA FILES on PBS.

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