How to Win the Ryder Cup

We’re taking a break from the seriousness of our last post to chat about the Ryder Cup, which kicks off its opening ceremony from Newport, Wales, today.

If you’re a golfer, you’ve got to check out former U.S. team captain Paul Azinger’s detailed description of how the United States won the 2008 Ryder Cup in Cracking the Code: The Winning Ryder Cup Strategy–Make It Work For You, published by Looking Glass Books. Under Paul’s leadership, the U.S. Ryder Cup team ended nearly a decade of European dominance in 2008 by laying aside their individual pursuits for a single week to overcome their underdog status and bring the cup back to America.

Inspired by team-building techniques used by Navy SEALs, Paul Azinger divided the 12-man team into small groups with guidance from corporate team-building specialist and licensed family therapist Ron Braund. He placed golfers together based on their personality types, rather than their golf games. The relationships among teammates created an atmosphere where Phil Mickelson, Stewart Cink, Kenny Perry, and the other U.S. golfers could perform at their highest levels, overcoming their underdog status to bring the cup back to America.

Hear what Paul has to say about his Ryder Cup win in an interview with Golf Magazine. When they asked him if either of this year’s captains should read Cracking the Code, Paul responded:

I don’t think it would hurt. There’s a thin line between winning and losing, razor thin. The important thing to learn from this book is that the relationships trump the assets. It’s learning who these guys are and communicating with them according to their personalities. You don’t say the same thing to everybody and expect them all to react the same way.

Read more at Golf Magazine’s site. You can also find links to more interviews with Paul on our Web site.