Davis Love III describes how Hazeltine will be set up for the Ryder Cup
In the latest installment of "American Captain presented by Mercedes-Benz" we get an inside look at 2016 Ryder Cup USA Captain Davis Love III at home in Sea Island, Ga.
Love revealed how his focus has turned to course set up and strokes-gained statistics as he considers potential match ups at Hazeltine.
"We're trying to decide, through statistics, do we have a really long, straight-hitting team, or do we have a wild, long-hitting team?" he said. "We know both teams are going to be long. It's not like the old days where we could say, 'Well, the U.S. team is long and the European team is short, so let's make it [the course] really long.' Rory McIlroy and Stenson and all these guys hit it a really long way. So where's our strength? Are we great iron players? Darren and I have been very up front with each other. We're going to set it up fair -- like a PGA Championship, with maybe not as much rough -- and we might play some par 5s a little further forward to suit everybody. We want some risk-reward and excitement. We also want some crashes... We want to keep it exciting for the fans and make some birdies."
Love also noted the specific stats he's been watching.
"The stats are going to be more when we pick guys. What I'm learning now is strokes gained putting is very important, but also strokes gained tee to green. I'm starting to look at the top 3-4 guys -- what are their strengths, what are their weaknesses? How can we match them up? We've got a guy that hits a whole bunch of greens and a guy that's really high in strokes gained putting, they might make a great pairing for alternate shot."
Over the course of the last year and half, Love has consistently brought up the importance of the team atmosphere being created before arriving at Hazeltine. He spoke to that in "The American Captain."
"We're making a team and you don't usually see that unless you're behind the scenes," he said. "Look at the University of North Carolina and you see all the players, the parents, the assistant coaches, the coaches wives, their kids. When you think about a normal week, the wife takes care of everything for the player. They're our coach and our support system. So, we want them around during the matches. It's a great part of it that makes it a lot more fun."
Here's the full episode: