The 2014 Ryder Cup is set to tee off on September 26th at Gleneagles in Scotland, and the event organizers are doing everything in their power to keep the players focused and ensure a European victory on home soil.
According to The Telegraph, the event has instituted a ban on uploading photos and videos through social media during the competition. The social media ban will apply to both players and spectators. This will be extremely difficult for event organizers to enforce (especially on the spectator side of the ban) but they are saying the ban is being put in place in order to protect sponsors and keep the players focused on golf.
No audio or video capture is permitted at all during the six-day event as the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) and the PGA European Tour want to make sure their image is intact, and players are not distracted.
Anyone contravening the lengthy list of regulations will have their mobile device or camera confiscated for the duration of the day.
It's pretty sad, if you ask me, that organizers feel that they have to take action in order to keep the players focused on the biggest event of their golf season. This sounds like a sorry excuse that The Ryder Cup is putting out there in order to help justify their sponsorship protection.
I don't think the Europeans need any extra assistance, based on the fact that they have won five of the last six events vs. their American rivals, but the Ryder Cup organizers have also spoken to basketball legend Michael Jordan about not interacting with the golfers while they are on the course.
In 2012, Jordan famously made an unsuccessful psych-out attempt on the European pairing of Ian Poulter and Rory McIlroy on the final day of the event. He followed the key group through the final six holes and tried to get into the head of Poulter and McIlroy as they ended up being the key piece in the "Meltdown at Medinah".
Perhaps not having Michael Jordan's input will be good for Team USA. We'll wait and see, I guess, but it's funny that the European organizers are stepping in to keep him away from their players.
Here are the rosters for both teams for this year's event:
* - Denotes captain's selection