I was wondering what exactly the Ryders Cup team captains role was so I searched on the internet and didn’t find it clearly outlined anywhere obvious, so I wrote to the PGA both in Europe and the US and asked…
I got the following response from the Press office of the European Tour (I haven’t got a reponse from the US yet so I cannot confirm that both Teams have the same expectations of their Captains)
“The Captain of The European Team is seen as a figurehead. He usually serves for one match although he is in office for up to two years. Throughout that time and during the week of the match he is the spokesman for the team, specifically when addressing the media, and he attends many public relations activities, including those of a charitable nature and those involving the Partners and Sponsors, to help promote The Ryder Cup.
The Captain is responsible for selecting “two picks” to complete the team of 12 players. The other ten players qualify through a points system based on points earned on The Ryder Cup World Points List and the European Points List over a one year period. Ian Woosnam, the 2006 European Captain, will make his two picks following the conclusion of the BMW International Open at Golfclub Munchen Nord-Eichenried, Munich, Germany, on Sunday September 3.
The Captain’s prime official duty in the week of The Ryder Cup is to decide the pairings for the two series of fourballs and the two series of foursomes, and the order in which the players go out for the 12 singles matches which conclude the 28-points biennial contest. As the figurehead of the Team he must ensure, with the support of his Vice-Captain and Assistant Captains, that all members of the team receive the best possible support throughout the week of the match so that they remain focused on playing their best golf. In this respect the Captain must create and foster the perfect team spirit and sense of togetherness required to bring the very best out of each team member.
The Captain meets and liaises with the Chief Referee to finalise the “Captain’s Agreement” under which the match is played. The home Captain can decided in which order the fourball and foursomes matches take place on the Friday and the Saturday. The Captain will also liaise with the Chief Referee and the Tournament Director to ensure that the course is prepared to his satisfaction.
The Captain’s duties also include a number of other engagements such as speaking at official functions including the Opening Ceremony on Thursday and the Closing Ceremony on Sunday.
The Captain is also responsible for deciding the clothing that the players wear both on and off the fairways. Both Captains confer so that the colour co-ordinated playing uniforms do not clash.”