Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Blagger's guide to golf: Don't get caught out-of-bounds

Smitten by Europe's epic comeback at Medinah on Sunday? Here's our brief blaggers' guide to the game for Johnny-Daly-come-lately golf fans

MEDINAH, IL - SEPTEMBER 30: Rory McIlroy of Europe waves to the gallery on the 17th green during the Singles Matches for The 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah Country Club on September 30, 2012 in Medinah, Illinois. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Will the drama of Europe's win at Medinah spark a boom for golf?

If you're a new lover of the links, here's a starter guide to the differences between the Ryder Cup and the regular tours for those who don't know the difference between an albatross and an eagle:



Scoring: The Ryder Cup's matchplay (players compete hole-by-hole) offers non-stop drama. In Majors, players play for the lowest combined score. And then an American with a name that sounds like a celebrity hotel pseudonym wins.



Fashion: Europe's last-day, navy-and-white Seve Ballesteros tribute oozed class, but regular tour attire is famously dreadful – as exemplified by European hero Ian "Union Jack trousers" Poulter.



Dancing: Not all golf events are celebrated with a re-creation of José María Olazábal's 1987 Ryder Cup victory dance. We think.



Neil Patrick Harris: Not a golfer, but watching world number three Luke Donald is virtually impossible once you begin to confuse him with Doogie Howser, MD.



Sergio Garcia: On Sunday, the Spaniard nicked his match with a calm display of putting. In Majors, Garcia is more likely to lead going into the last day then shank his first tee shot into the nearest hotdog stand.



The EU: As has been noted at length, the London Telegraph-reading denizens of British golf clubhouses willing on the success of the EU is is a solely biennial affair.



Heckling: Abuse of players is rare in this gentleman's game. As a general rule for spectating, aim for shame-faced sycophancy.



Money lists: In the Ryder Cup, the players are unpaid. In the European and US tours, players are measured by the wholly corinthian method of a money list.



All-night drinking: With dozens of losers, stroke play tournaments rarely end with the winner being gleefully covered in champagne. With the probable exception of Last Tango in Paris-era Tiger Woods.

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