The Experts
Hans Joachim Nothelfer
(German Golf Association President)
Iain Carter
(BBC Golf Correspondent)
Iain Carter

1. What is the biggest challenge in the Ryder Cup for a player?

HJN: The biggest challenge is the special kind of pressure each player is under during matchplay. During the course of three days it is sudden death in each pairing, so every hole gives a result which adds to the final score.

IC: Most players will tell you it is hitting your first tee shot because they are so nervous. I'm sure that is the case but thereafter the challenge of adjusting to the rhythms of foursomes and fourballs, which are so different from Tour golf, must be huge.

2. What makes the Ryder Cup so special in comparison to other competitions?

HJN: The Ryder Cup is one of a kind. It has a rich history and evokes special kinds of emotions. In no other golf competition are players and fans as enthusiastic and euphoric. The Ryder Cup, furthermore, challenges the European players to play together as a team representing the whole continent.

IC: Whenever an individual sport is put into a team environment there is an added dimension. You see it in Davis Cup tennis as well. Tribal allegiances also give the event a greater intensity. It is more than just cheering on your favourite player.

3. In your opinion, which team has the biggest chance of winning this year?

HJN: Naturally I am rooting for the European Team with Martin Kaymer. I also believe that Europe is this year’s favourite; if only slightly. The European players Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose are at the moment four of the top five players in the world.

IC: Europe are justifiable favourites. They have home advantage, the US haven't won away since 1993. Europeans, Rory McIlroy in particular, have dominated the second half of the season and few Americans have been in top form. Dustin Johnson isn't available for the US as he confronts personal problems and Tiger Woods is injured. Matt Kuchar and Jason Dufner also have fitness concerns. That said America could harness the spirit of the underdog to great effect.

4. In your opinion, who is going to be the stand out player of the Ryder Cup?

HJN: The Ryder Cup is of course a team competition and thusly the team success is most important. However, Martin Kaymer has already proven with his decisive putt in Medinah in 2012 that he can deliver under pressure. I would not mind seeing that again.

IC: Very hard to say. Can McIlroy dominate in the way he has on tour this year? It'll be tough because the US will target him to try to gain morale boosting wins against him. I think it could be a big Ryder Cup for Sergio Garcia who has been at his best for much if this year and usually finds top form in the team environment.


Chris Brown (First Assistant Greenkeeper)

1. Something people might not know about the course?

Over the last 10 years, no fewer than 9 holes have been re-modelled in preparations for the 40th Ryder Cup in September.

2. What’s going to be the biggest challenge?

If the weather is anything like today, then an ability to adapt to rapid changing weather conditions will play a significant role in the outcome of some of the matches.

3. Any tips for the people playing?

Accuracy is a must especially from the tee. Tight fairways and thick rough will keep the players on their toes. Here the roughs will penalise errant shots. Players keeping it on the short stuff should reap the rewards.