So, American captain Corey Pavin has decreed that his players will not be tweeting from Wales during this week’s 2010 Ryder Cup.
Almost immediately, fans who follow the sport’s stars on twitter were up in arms. How can Corey do this? We’re going to be left in the dark! We won’t be able to follow our favourite players! Those were the typical rants. Corey Pavin doesn’t care. And he shouldn’t, because Pavin just made the first of what he hopes are dozens of smart decisions, between now and next Sunday, that will return the Ryder Cup to the United States.
Please, please, please don’t tell me you think Pavin should have allowed tweeting from the Ryder Cup. His decision is an absolute no-brainer. And it’s not something Pavin just decided overnight. You know he’s been thinking about it. Asking valued people for their opinions, ever since he was named captain. For his own sanity and to give America the best chance to best Colin Montgomerie’s European side, Pavin had no choice in making the decision he made.
Allowing players to tweet is completely contrary to the reason his 12-player team is in Wales. They are there to retain the Ryder Cup. They are NOT there to keep their twitter followers happy. Their twitter followers, for one week, can manage to garner information elsewhere. It’s been proven that the best Ryder Cup teams are the ones that bond well over the course of the week-or-so they are together. The best pairings are between players with like minds and chemistry. Meals are together. Team meetings are crucial. Long discussions about match-ups and pairings. And all that gets put into turmoil if players are thinking about, or sending, their next tweet. What information is sacred? What information can be revealed? Pavin solved all those problems. Just put the crackberries away, boys. I have been to two Ryder Cups (1995, Oak Hill and 2004, Oakland Hills). Players are being pulled in enough directions without adding tweeting to the mix.
On Sunday evening, Team USA rookie Rickie Fowler tweeted, “Guys I’m sorry to inform you but the news is true…we will not be allowed to tweet while we are in Wales…Cpt’s orders!!” Why are you sorry to inform us, Rickie? Shouldn’t your only concern be winning the Ryder Cup? Ryder Cup rookies have enough on their plates – just ask 2004’s Chris “I’m too tired to play again today, captain” Riley – and they only need to be thinking about their next match. Frankly, as a Ryder Cup rookie I think I’d be shutting my mouth and doing as I’m told. Period. And I sure as hell wouldn’t be tweeting that there will be no more tweets.
Before Fowler’s tweet, it was Ryder Cupper Zach Johnson who broke the news of the twitter ban to the golf world, “I have an unfortuante (sic) bit of news…I will not be able to tweet across the pond in Wales…capt’s orders! Sorry. I appreciate the support!” You don’t need the support of your twitter followers, Zach. You need the support of your captain, vice captains and teammates. That’s what wins Ryder Cups.
By announcing the ban the way they have, these players have actually managed to vilify Captain Pavin before the matches even begin next Friday. Not smart, boys. Not smart at all. One veteran writer even tweeted that Pavin, and his wife, were “control freaks.” If being a control freak is what it takes to retain the Ryder Cup, Corey Pavin’s on the right track.