This month’s Ryder Cup will be a content bonanza. We’ll have more welcome parties, pairings drama, course flyovers, and fashion debate than you’ll know what to do with. One thing we won’t have is team-room access. The Associated Press reported this week that U.S. Ryder Cup captain Zach Johnson and Team USA will not allow Netflix inside the team room at Marco Simone. “I talked to every individual…and they all felt like it was best to navigate that week of the tournament in a manner in which the sanctity and sacredness of Team USA is preserved,” Johnson said. “We’re eliminating scenarios.”
Over the last 20 years, the PGA of America and the DP World Tour have done their damndest to squeeze every penny out of the Ryder Cup. Through humongous grandstands and hospitality areas to excessive merchandising to oversized commercial loads, the event has become a money-making machine. And yet, through it all, the on-course competition has intensified.
I am completely fine with the U.S. wanting to keep cameras out of the team room. We don’t need Hard Knocks-style access to improve the event. Hell, as season one of Full Swing showed us, golfers aren’t that interested in showing personality in front of the cameras anyway. For the sake of the players and the fans, it’s probably best to let these guys have a week of privacy within the team room. If we want the Ryder Cup to retain its authenticity and contain true competition, we should not let it become a reality TV show. The matches are the real drama, and that’s how it should always be.
This piece originally appeared in The Fried Egg newsletter. Subscribe for free and receive golf news and insight every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.