UPDATED By Denis G. Campbell
Last night rain pelted my bedroom window with 30 mph gusting winds. Instead of wondering what compression golf ball, hit at what speed, launched by a pro would travel more than 150 yards in Newport today, I thought today is a Ryder Cup planner’s nightmare. When I show people photos of my Wales country home the 1st remark always is… “oh it’s all so beautifully green.”
My reply? “It’s mould.”
My first October in country saw 27-days where some rain fell. The 50,000 corporate guests at The Ryder Cup this weekend will scurry across lush green hillsides of deep, wet rough, trying to get a view of the event. The problem? When the event is decided on Sunday, each match could end anywhere between holes 10 and 18 and the Cup victor? Who knows where? So team captains, WAGs, video crews and fans will continually run into and over each other racing to and fro holes on the back 9.
Factor in the normal polite demeanour of our alcohol-free UK sports fans (yes tongue is firmly in cheek) and the potential for disaster looms at every turn on the course.
Did I also mention that by 7:00 pm on any rainy day this week darkness will descends on Wales? So those watching on Sunday morning USA breakfast telly may get a view of the festivities. And how many UK golf fans would get up that early after a Saturday night out partying? Yes they have TiVo/Sky+ and we’ll get far less than the global 6.6 million Sunday viewers last time it was contested.
When it’s over, most of the brave 50K will trudge down the wet slopes to buses taking them miles away and all in total darkness. How many Americans will step outside their hotel room in the morning and think… it’s not so bad. Then arrive on those hilltops in 50 degree temperatures, wind and rain with only a wind breaker? It should at least be a boon for wet weather gear sales, however the Cardiff Airport store was so poorly stocked three weeks ago you could get any size as long as it was S, M or L. UK fans should know to bring wet suits, and wellies and it could get ugly.
Lots of dirt was moved to create this Ryder Cup TPC-like stadium course. By TPC-like we mean lots of hillside natural amphitheatres were created which makes for great crowd shots of people sitting comfortably surrounding those greens (…if you are in freaking Florida!). Who in their right mind will ‘sit’ on a series of wet, grassy hillsides, in October… in Wales?
Those sitting in Carwyn’s Colossal Crap Shoot executive suites will have comfy warm event tents with big screen telly in which to sit alongside holes 16, 17 and 18. What if though the event is decided on an earlier hole, well they will be fine watching where everyone should watch a Ryder Cup… on the telly. Having been to two of them, Sunday is chaotic in the best of situations.
And then, as we discussed on Cllr Neil McEvoy and Gwenno Dafydd’s Radio Cardiff programme yesterday, how does one measure return on investment for the between £43 and £51 million pounds spent by Wales to bring the event here?
My BS detector is already set to the maximum waiting for the PR value equation to be spouted next week by 1st Minister Carwyn Jones. Wales got £xx million pounds of press mentions this past week! Woo-hoo!!
I cannot spend those sir. Neither can you.
The head of Cardiff and Co is already notorious for SPIN like that so every politician in Wales should be on full alert as well. Mr. Savage regularly takes credit for anything that moves in the capital city. He was responsible for The Ashes, St. Davids shopping centre and The Ryder Cup. Will he be helping Monty with EU team pairings? Coaching Rory’s approach shot on the 15th?
ROI is critical and within the next six months their had better be £150 million pounds of new businesses locating to Wales or the voters and your political opponents will wonder what exactly, besides a great entertainment weekend, Wales got in benefit for the circus that just left town.
Sports memory is short. The media will mention Celtic Manor for years to come as they do the K-Club.
Problem is those are the brands remembered, not Ireland or Wales.
Conscience can be a bitch.
Denis G Campbell is the author of 6 books including 'Billionaire Boys Election Freak Show,' 'The Vagina Wars' & 'Egypt Unsh@ckled.' He is the editor of UK Progressive Magazine and provides commentary to the BBC, itv Al Jazeera English, CNN, MSNBC and others. His weekly 'World View with Denis Campbell' segment can be heard every Thursday on the globally syndicated The David Pakman Show. You can follow him on Twitter via @UKProgressive and on Facebook.
Email this author | All posts by Denis G Campbell