As we wait for the Ryder Cup 2016 to get under way from 30 September, we look at one of the most interesting aspects of the coveted golf tournament that takes place between a 12-member team from the United States and Europe -- the colourful fans.
Normally, we witness the spectators in a golf event -- be it in a golfing major or otherwise -- to be calm and quite, much like the tennis fans. Ryder Cup fans, on the other hand, are a complete different breed. The fans arrive at the venue all draped in their national colours, with face paints on, displaying flags, banners and what not -- much like what you associate from football fans.
"Quite please, stop moving, the golf clap" -- the three most important drills for fans witnessing a golf event, doesn't come into effect during the Ryder Cup. The raucous crowds show up in large numbers and are amazingly loud during the play as well, singing, chanting in unison and doing everything possible to cheer their favourite team.
"It's a spectacle. A sight to be seen. There's singing. There's chanting. Thousands of spectators lined up 20-30 deep and packed into the stands. This isn't the type of reserved, quiet, golf-clap first tee players are used to at a regular event," a statement from the official website of Ryder Cup mentions. "This is intense. Players admit that hitting that first tee shot at a Ryder Cup is like nothing they've ever experienced in golf."
Veteran American Ryder Cup golfer Matt Kucher, who was announced as a Captain's Pick for the United States team for Ryder Cup 2016, says, "I had heard stories of the guys, when we were starting off in alternate-shot and had their plan of guys taking odds and even holes, and the guy that was set to play the first drive on the first hole said, 'Too nervous, too nervous, I can't do it [thanks to the noise levels from the crowd],' and so they switched the format."
Passion, nevertheless, is an integral part of the Ryder Cup. Intense emotions not only from the fans but also from the top players is one of the greatest features of the biennial sporting event, and it is time now for the likes of Rory McIlroy and Chris Wood (Team Europe) as well as Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth (Team USA) to go through the similar emotion again after a two-year-long wait.
Ryder Cup 2016 gets under way on 30 September from the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnesota, United States, and goes on until 2 October. Watch the video to know more about the Ryder Cup fans.