FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – As the crowds grew on Saturday at Bethpage Black it wasn’t hard to imagine a similar scene in five years when the Ryder Cup will be played at the “People’s Country Club.”
“I mean, listen, the atmosphere will be unbelievable, first and foremost,” Graeme McDowell said.
But if the intensity of the crowds for the 2024 matches isn’t in question, how the Black Course will be set up for the event is certainly a talking point.
“This [the PGA Championship] won’t be the 2024 Ryder Cup setup, I can tell that you. This looks more like Paris than Hazeltine,” McDowell said of the PGA Championship setup.
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If standard practices hold, with courses for Ryder Cups played in the United States groomed with little rough and open fairways, while European venues go for a more challenging test like last year at Le Golf National, McDowell’s point is valid. Not that the Northern Irishman is a big fan of the divergent philosophies.
“The Ryder Cup should be a neutral setup. We set it up with thick rough and par is a good score and not too many birdies. They set it up with no rough, middle pins and 15 birdies a day, or you lose. I disagree with that,” he said. “I think it should be more of a neutral setup and let the best team go and win.”
Who would oversee those Ryder Cup setups is a much more difficult question to answer. McDowell suggested a “joint venture” between the PGA of America and the European Tour, but he acknowledged getting everyone to agree to that would be unlikely.