For future Ryder Cups contested in the United States, I suggest the captain of the U.S. squad produce a few thousand wrist bands with the following inscription: HWJNB. This stands for “How would Jack Nicklaus behave”. The bands should be distributed to all 12 members of the team and offered for sale to the patrons of the event. The proceeds would, of course, go to a reputable charity so that the PGA of America could mimic the Tour in promoting their generosity.
The objective of these bands would be to remind the fans of the U.S. team that golf is different from other team sports where they are free and often provoked to spew invective from a safe distance. The cheering of mistakes, and vicious heckling is not commonly done in golf circles. Golf has historically been a game of honor and restraint. It’s just part of the history and culture of the game that many of us would like to preserve.
For the U.S. team, perhaps they can take a moment to watch a Youtube highlight video of Jack Nicklaus playing in International events. How he carried himself, how he both won and lost with grace. Sure he celebrated, but he eschewed the fist-pumping and exhorting the crowd to cheer even louder. And I can guarantee one thing – he never bitched about his competitor not conceding a three-foot putt.