Comparing things to three years ago, it’s like the difference between night and day. In Gleneagles back in 2014 the United States team couldn’t golf its way out of a paper bag in international competition. The American squad for the Ryder Cup foozled things so badly that they had already lost ten of the previous biennial match plays against the European Union teams. The U.S. team’s frustration, vented behind closed doors, was aired out in the open when Phil Mickelson let the media in on his poor opinion of team captain Tom Watson.
After that, American team golfing seemed at the end of its rope. Sponsors, the PGA, even diehard fans began to lose interest in team golf for Americans. The consensus was pretty clear — Americans were just too individualistic to really carry a match game to a successful conclusion working in tandem. The lone golfing star, like Tiger Woods was what America did best when it came to the links and the little white pill.
But a new generation of golf professionals has turned the team golf paradigm around. Patrick Reed is just 27, but already has 2 Ryder Cup teams under his belt, as well as 2 Presidents Cup teamwork experiences. And three of those times were flat out wins. He credits, in part, social media for bringing the golf team together in a more efficient yet still competitive way.
“We hang out together” on social media, he says. It gives each player a distinct role while keeping the concept of teamwork in the forefront.