For many of us in the northern parts of the U.S., golf season is over, our clubs are in the garage and our swings are one less thing to worry about until next spring.
But professional golf has a schedule that never ends, and even though there might already be snow outside that double-paned window, the window of opportunity to watch golf is still wide open.
The fall used to be called the “Silly Season,” with friendly skins games and other meaningless exhibitions, some of which—like The Wendy’s 3-Tour Challenge and the Shark Shootout—are still around.
But for the armchair golf fan there is now real drama with real consequences still ahead, including the final stage of the PGA Tour’s Q School and the European Tour’s conclusion of the Race to Dubai.
And coming up from Down Under is the Presidents Cup which, along with the Ryder Cup, is now the annual gut check on the condition of American professional golf—a three-day physical to determine if we are better than the rest of the world.
Our Presidents Cup opponent is the rest of the world without Europe, and we do better at this one than the Ryder Cup. The United States has won six of the eight Presidents Cups since the PGA dreamed up the event in 1994.
But we do a 180 with the Ryder Cup, in which the Europeans have bested us six out of eight times since 1995. For golf lovers, the live broadcasts from Australia starting November 16—some going as late as 2 a.m. ET—will be like an early thanksgiving.
Aussies Jason Day and Adam Scott, South African Charl Schwartzel and South Korean K.J. Choi are among the 12 players who will be hoping to tee-off on us at Royal Melbourne. The Americans will include Steve Stricker, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and tarnished superstar Tiger Woods, who will undoubtedly be the most highly scrutinized competitor of them all.
Who will be playing with whom in best ball and who will be playing against whom in singles is only known to captains Fred Couples and Greg Norman. It is a matter of speculation for the rest of us. But just for fun, let’s look at a totally different set of match-ups. After all, this is the Presidents Cup.
Facial likenesses are coincidental. Well, not really. I tried to find them.