It’s one thing to watch the Ryder Cup on television and a completely different thing to actually experience it first hand. The crowds, the players, the atmosphere, everything combined comes together to create a breathtaking memory that I won’t soon forget.
This is my Ryder Cup experience as a spectator:
It’s 5:30 AM and we’re up before the sun, racing towards Hazeltine to get there for the 7:30 tee-times in thick fog. Entering the gates, you can feel the energy emanating from the half awake people surrounding you in their patriotic garb. We just happened to be in line next to some British fans, singing songs and chanting, which just increased the hype.
THERE WERE SO MANY PEOPLE. Yes, it’s the Ryder Cup, one of the greatest events in golf, but there wasn’t a moment when you weren’t surrounded by people on every hole. Walking around you feel like you’re a part of something bigger than yourself and the moment you see a player in the flesh, it’s something special.
Martin Kaymer is stunner. I mean, he looks really good in person. Everyone did. Even Tiger Woods, who we saw talking with his mouth full only a few feet away from us.
Not to mention we got a closer look at the Ryder Cup trophy, which is a beautiful thing to behold. This is what everyone is fighting for, and we got to be in its presence.
Our hats were a hit btw. American spirit baby!!
The only downfall of being a spectator is the inability to jump from hole to hole easily. You’re on a golf course after all, which is a lot of land to cover on foot going back and forth from the 1st green to the 10th tee box and back around. We walked about 7 miles that first day and every step was worth it, you just don’t see as much of the action as you do on TV because so much is going on.
That being said, if you post up at one of the bleachers by the greens, you’re usually set for a good time if you can get a spot. We were at the 18th green bleachers when we saw Rickie Fowler chip in on the 9th. The whole crowd burst into a frenzy and the excitement was palpable.
Then we went to the 7th green, where we saw Bubba Watson riding around in his cart and one of the best views on the course.
The tee-times Sunday were much better suited for Saturday night shenanigans, which was much needed after experiencing downtown Minneapolis with almost every other Ryder Cup attendee.
My co-worker and I bought American flag onesies to accompany our American flag bucket hats and our ensemble was complete for rowdiness. The moment we arrived at the parking lot people guffawed at our outfits and many snapped away. As did we!
We saw some great outfits at the Ryder Cup, which is why this golf event is so different from others. While some people are still in their polos and khakis, many were in red white and blue afro’s and star spangled suit jackets. It just made the event that much more fun and brought a sense of camaraderie between fans.
Sunday we got a really great spot right by the ropes between the first green and the second tee-box. We saw Rory, Spieth, Reed, Rickie, the whole crew up close and personal. My co-worker even got a fist bump from Jordan as he was passing through.
Peep Feherty at the beginning of the video!
The vibes on Sunday were incredible. Whether you were watching the Phil and Sergio match or Rickie and Rose, there was zero lack of hype. Every moment was amazing and seeing the players in the zone and ready to go is something else.
The stands were full of golf fans cheering on their favorite golfer or rooting for their country to win. Europeans and Americans alike were rowdy and ready for anything. Granted there were definitely more Americans and the US golfers got a lot more roar than the Europeans.
Fans will be fans and that goes for any sports event. Golf should embrace the people in every form and I believe they did that at the 41st Ryder Cup.
To be able to experience the return of the Ryder Cup to the US after 8 years was unbelievable, and I bet anyone who went would say they felt the same. GO USA!! They did it for Arnie!!