Americans, curb your enthusiasm

Steady on. The PGA of America have now announced the Ryder Cup venues in the United States through to 2032. How old will I be then? It’s a scary thought.

Flushed with the US success ar the 2016 matches they have announced a quick return to Hazeltine in 2028, the first time one of their venues has been used twice. Good for Hazeltine that it is now so revered. When Tony Jacklin won his US Open there in 1970 the Chaska Minesota course was called a “cow pasture” in the press.

So the rota announced so far is

2018 Le Golf National Paris

2020 Whistling Straits, Wisconsin

2022 Marco Simone, Rome

2024Bethpage Black, New York

2026 tba, Europe

2028 Hazeltine National, Minnesota

2030 tba Europe

2032 Olympic Club, San Fransisco

The one in all this which catches my eye is the match in Italy in 4 years time. I went out to Rome recently to have a look at the course which is impressive. But it is not that which concerns. The city of Rome has a serious law and order problem with asylum seekers and immigrants, which the authorities so far seem to be doing little to resolve. An Australian couple I talked to at the airport summed it up. “never again” – as in never will they return to the city. As well as the perrenial thefts and maniacal drivers and the lacksidasical approach to efficiency and solving any kind of issue the immigrants were something else. Alongside the hotel in Central Rome large groups of them congregated and threw bottles at cars, set fire to property, spat at and verbally and physically abused as well as thieved from tourists. And the airport at Fumicino had passengers getting into fights because the environment was so challenging. Such infrastructure problems must be resolved before the matches in four years time. The world will be watching one of the highest profile sporting events after the Olympic Games. Those of us who travel to Italy regularly go with the flow of the country even thought it’s sometimes not to our liking. It may be a cruel culture shock for our American guests if they are not prepared to brace themselves a little.




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