USA team coaches demand unfair treatment for Ryder Cup
HAVEN, Wisconsin – Heading into the 43rd Ryder Cup, concerns about the discord within the USA team centered on rivalries Bryson DeChambeau and Brooks Koepka. But while the brothers have remained civilians this week, there is no shortage of tension around the U.S. squad.
It just comes from the swing trainers.
Swing instructors and putting coaches working with members of the U.S. team at Whistling Straits have to pay their own fees this week, while coaches working with European players have their fees covered. Europe also allows coaches access to team rooms at the golf course and the team hotel, a courtesy not extended to instructors on the US side. All of this led to a wave of grievances among the coaches, who called for better treatment by the PGA of America.
“American coaches pay for our own plane ticket, our own hotel and our food. There is a hotel we had to stay in to be in the bubble they tried to create and it costs around $ 350 a night after tax, ”said a teacher who works with a prominent member of the US team. . “There was even one night when the area where we had to eat to stay in the bubble was rented out, so we didn’t have a place we were allowed to eat.
The cost of instructors for Ryder Cup week is not insignificant. Three teachers said Golf week their expense would be between $ 4,000 and $ 5,000, but added that there is a hidden cost of lost income from not working with other clients at home. An instructor said it was $ 5,000 more for him. Another suggested, “It’s a $ 10,000 to $ 20,000 week for a lot of guys.”
This potentially puts instructors in the position of having to have an awkward conversation with their players about reimbursement.
“All coaches have different agreements with their players,” explained one instructor. “A lot of coaches are working on percentages, but there is no Ryder Cup scholarship. If you are not on a contract with travel and billing, you have nothing to gain from being here, although with the best players in the world we are expected to be here. Getting reimbursed would be an out of the ordinary conversation for our player. “
“The situation that puts us in is that we eat the $ 5,000 or we complain to our player,” he added.
Access is the other point of contention in Wisconsin. While support staff for European players have access to both team rooms, instructors for US players are not welcome in either.
“I literally tried to meet my player at the back of the team room and I couldn’t even come close to the building to meet him,” one coach grumbled.
The access problem has also extended to the golf course. It was only after a number of coaches complained that the PGA of America granted them inside ropes access on tournament days.
“We weren’t going to be allowed to hit the ropes on Friday, Saturday and Sunday which would have shattered the bubble again by putting us in the crowd,” said an incredulous coach. “They rectified that one.”
A request for comment from the PGA of America was not responded to at time of posting.
The range of issues that anger coaches has created tension between them among PGA of America organizers.
At least one player on the US team insists that instructors should be treated the way they are by Europeans – welcomed as team members with proper access. And that starts with paying their fees.
“What are they doing, $ 100 million with it but can’t cover it?” the player asked sarcastically.
When asked if he thought the group of instructors – around 20 people in total – would have their fees paid for by team members, the player shrugged.
“It depends on the player if he pays it,” he said.
This player’s instructor says there is a simple remedy for Team USA dissent: “We send our travel and hotel bills, just like the European team.”
What if he sends such an invoice to PGA of America headquarters next week, what are the chances that it will get paid?
“None,” he said. “They wouldn’t even get it.