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Download Us Against Them: An Oral History of the Ryder Cup epub

by Robin McMillan

The Only Oral History of the Ryder CupSince Its Genesis in 1927

Us Against Them recounts how the Ryder Cup grew from the brink of extinction to become the most compelling and controversial tournament in golf. The popularity of the Ryder Cup, played every other year in the fall (alternately in the United States and in Europe), has soared in the last ten years. Its worldwide television audience is now the largest of any in golf, and the last tournament, in 2002, was viewed by an estimated 100 million fans.

The story of this meteoric rise -- and all the rich history that predated it -- is told in the actual voices of more than forty players and other participants, including Ryder Cup players and captains Curtis Strange, Dave Stockton, Sam Torrance, and Tony Jacklin; American legends Hale Irwin and Billy Casper; U.S. network television commentators Peter Alliss, David Feherty, Peter Oosterhuis, and Jimmy Roberts; Tour players Peter Jacobsen, Tom Lehman, and Brad Faxon; and such names from the past as Dow Finsterwald, Johnny Pott, and Tommy Bolt.More than recalling simply the play-by-play, Us Against Them also goes behind the scenes -- to the Ryder Cup tournament director whose participation almost ended in his own bloody death, to the matches in Britain that nearly ended in blows, to the car crash that some say decided the outcome of one of the matches, to a small plane carrying players that almost fell from the sky, and to the prominent American network golf commentator who introduced himself to a U.S. president while dressed in a large plastic garbage bag!

Download Us Against Them: An Oral History of the Ryder Cup epub
ISBN: 0060197919
ISBN13: 978-0060197919
Category: Sports
Subcategory: Golf
Author: Robin McMillan
Language: English
Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (August 10, 2004)
Pages: 304 pages
ePUB size: 1701 kb
FB2 size: 1416 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 505
Other Formats: doc lrf mobi txt

This is simply awesome for golf aficianado, for it is oral history beginning after WWII with individuals from both sides, along side the author's running commentary of the history and sidelights.

What is fascinating about this enjoyable read is all the great views and opinions about what occurred at the some of the major development stages of this spectacular and increasingly significant golfing drama.

Glad to see that the Ryder Cup has been changed to make it more the major drama golfing event that it is with the move to European players. Not impressed by utter comeptiveness of some who destroy the sportmanship angle of this competition, restored at the Belfry by captians Strange and Torrance.

Being a huge John Jacobs fan, was pleasantly surprised to see him get his due to having solidified the European PGA tour and then his Ryder Cup experience.

Can't Feherty and Torrance say more than two sentences without the "f" word? I enjoy both of these guys, but moreso when they're on camera and can't let loose the vulgarity.

Author did nice job interviewing, then culling and editing the salient parts for us readers to relish. This is great timing with upcoming Cup at Oakland Hills.

Well worth the purchase and read. Great addition to golf fan library.
I don't remember ordering this book.

This past weekend the world watched the biennial golf match between the best professional golfers from the United States and their opponents from Europe. Each day roughly 40,000 spectators attended the matches held this year at Oakland Hills in Michigan. The worldwide television audience exceeded 100 million. Given the worldwide marketing, national fervor and hoopla of this event, some fans of the Ryder Cup might be surprised to learn that as recently as twenty years ago, the Ryder Cup was on the verge of extinction as a golfing event.

US AGAINST THEM: An Oral History of the Ryder Cup, by Robin McMillan, follows the history of the matches from inception in 1927 to the most recent match in 2002. This year's match concluded last Sunday with the Europeans capturing a resounding victory. As in previous years, it was a hard fought and tenacious contest. But the recently concluded contest can only be appreciated by referencing the previous battles for the cup donated many years ago by Samuel Ryder. McMillan traces the history of the Cup through a series of interviews with participants, organizers and Ryder Cup captains, perhaps the most revered position in professional golf other than major tournament champion. The saga is both informative and entertaining.

The actual commencement of the Ryder Cup matches is shrouded in some confusion. What is known is that Samuel Ryder, a British businessman, established the groundwork for the matches that formally began in 1927. Prior to that year, Ryder had arranged matches between English and American professionals, but the method of choosing the teams was informal and there was no actual involvement by the Professional Golf Association of the United States. As an oral history, US AGAINST THEM suffers because very few of the originators of the Ryder Cup remain alive today to discuss the formative years. Interestingly, Peter Allis, current ABC golf commentator and eight-time Cup participant, offers history through the reminiscences of his father, Percy Allis. Despite that source of information, it is fair to say that information of the early Ryder Cup years is not the strength of this book.

If there is a shortcoming to this oral history it comes from two sources, both beyond the author's control. Obviously, many of the Ryder Cup participants from the years immediately after World War II, when interest in the transatlantic battles began to grow, are no longer available to be interviewed. Thus, there are no recollections from Hogan, Snead, Henry Cotton or Dai Rees, all frequent Cup opponents in the '40s and '50s. Many of the golfing greats from more recent Ryder Cups --- Nicklaus, Palmer, Woods, Montgomerie and Garcia --- apparently declined to be interviewed for this book. But those who agreed to be interviewed have much to offer about the matches on the course and some behind-the-scenes battles as well. In 1975, Arnold Palmer was U.S. Captain at Laurel Valley Golf Club, Arnie's home course. The club had a strict policy against women in the dining room. Jack Nicklaus told Palmer what he thought of that rule. "Never mind the rules and all that crap, Arnold. If my wife is not sitting down to have lunch with me tomorrow, I'm going home." The rule was relaxed to allow women to dine between 11 am and 1 pm.

By the late 1970s, the Cup matches had become so one-sided that interest had waned substantially. In 1977, American Tom Weiskopf chose to go hunting rather than participate. But a man whose name most American golfers would not even recognize, Colin Snape, the executive director of the British PGA, saved the Cup from extinction by bringing European professionals into the matches. The struggles of the '80s and '90s made golfing history with closely fought matches and strong patriotic fervor ringing from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The battle for the Ryder Cup is now an eagerly anticipated event.

This year's Cup battle is now completed. If this was the first year you followed the match and wish to learn more about previous Ryder Cup battles, then US AGAINST THEM is for you. If you are a Ryder Cup or golfing fan in general, you will enjoy this well-written history of one of golf's premier events.

--- Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman