The role of Ryder Cup captain has evolved into so much more than just expertly driving a golf cart.
There are hands to shake, babies to kiss, functions to attend, and for two years the captain is the voice and face of the team.
So perhaps it’s little surprise that 2014 European skipper Paul McGinley revealed this week that he’s had speaking lessons in advance of the matches at Gleneagles. The Irishman, who spent five years at college and had a public-speaking class as part of his marketing and international business courses, said he has already attended three one-day sessions.
“The training I’m having is so much about my presentation, but more to do with the content of the speeches I will have to make at the Ryder Cup,” he told golf writer Bernie McGuire. “It’s about getting everything chronologically correct in my presentations. I’ve been asked to do more and more public speaking, and I feel I need to get myself more to a professional level, and there is a woman in London who is helping me. …
“I’m not going to be an amateur standing up there on the stage when I am trying to be a professional, and there are so many facets – I have been trying to upgrade my public speaking to the best of my ability. If that means getting outside help in some areas, then I will do that.”
If nothing else, McGinley seems eager to avoid what happened to Nick Faldo. In a now-infamous speech before the 2008 matches, Faldo clumsily asked Graeme McDowell whether he was from Ireland or Northern Ireland, incorrectly introduced Soren Hanson and also made stereotypical remarks about Padraig Harrington’s Irish heritage.