The 2018 Ryder Cup will be held at the golf course in the Paris suburb of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, the second time only that Continental Europe hosts the event. More so, the prestigious French course is a mere afternoon walk away from the Palace of Versailles, where the 1918 Versailles Peace Treaty was signed and where President Wilson first launched his concept of a League of Nations. What better way to celebrate the 100th anniversary of ‘Versailles’ and the inception of the League of Nations by opening up the next Ryder Cup to golfers from nations all over the world?
Almost one in four golfers in the current top 100 is not eligible to play in the Ryder Cup, including the current world number one and six. Simply because of where they were born. Within the next decade, this one in four will likely increase to one in three. Elitism in golf is a nineteenth century contraption. In this day and age, golf should be accessible for all. Since 1969, Ryder Cup teams consist of twelve players, plus captain. I am sure that Team Asia (to be) and Team Rest-of-the-World (to be) will present twelve world class golfers as well.
There is a stunning difference in media coverage of the Paralympics compared to the ‘main’ Olympics. I find that awkward. Think about sports in terms of the obstacles you need to overcome in order to become a world class athlete. In general, you may argue that Paralympians have shown more endurance and perseverance to enter the world’s biggest theater of sports than the ‘other’ Olympians. Experienced more hurdles, overwon bigger challenges. Paralympians are true examples of overcoming obstacles. Performing world class is given to only a few. Performing to the best of your abilities however, is within reach of all.
My golf score has been persistently mediocre for years. At first I thought that it was all about practice. If I would play more, my scores would improve. So I played more, but nothing happened. They say golf is all about consistency. Well, I was playing very consistently, on the wrong end of a hundred, that is. Improving my game had nothing to do with playing more, as such. I clearly overlooked something. Today, I comprehend why my score did not improve: the solution was not to try harder, but to understand what I was doing wrong in the first place.
An American friend of mine once mocked about football that most matches only produce one or two goals (“How dull is that?”). And he could not get over the fact that a match could end in a goalless draw. (“What do you mean, no winner? In want my money back”). Point taken. Baseball is different. In baseball you are doing nothing most of the time. That probably explains why you can become good at it rather quickly. I think that both sports have their merit. One thing is certain: practicing baseball burns less calories than watching football.