Question: What do David Feherty, Colin Montgomerie, Payne Stewart, Seve Ballesteros, Fred Couples and Kiawah Island—the site of this week’s PGA Championship—have in common?
They were all players in the epic 1991 Ryder Cup match that hasn’t gotten its historical due. Until now, that is.
Indeed, The War by The Shore: The Incomparable Drama of the 1991 Ryder Cup by Curt Sampson manages to live up to its rather sensational title with a nail-biting narrative that will ultimately change the way you look at this “friendly” biannual match between European and American tour professionals.
Sampson seems to recognize the challenge of getting you to care about a 20-year-old match—and about the Ryder Cup in general—because he happily ratchets up the suspense right out of the gates.
The book opens smartly: “The 1991 Ryder Cup began in 1985,” noting that until the mid ‘80s, the Ryder Cup was simply a preordained drubbing by the Americans: “The chivalrous but overwhelmed Brits bore their humiliation with grace but the inevitable outcome had all the drama of afternoon tea…”
In 1985, however, the European team won a hard-fought match amid a hostile English crowd, setting off a chain of events—both sporting and cultural—that reached a crescendo at the 1991 Ryder Cup.
The outcome of the 1991 Ryder Cup was decided long ago, but you may have forgotten or never heard about it, so we’re going to avoid any spoilers here.
Let’s just say that there’s no shortage of tension and gamesmanship, which isn’t hard to believe, considering the amazing cast of characters.
Of course, here at PutterZone.com, we’re drawn to the action on putting green. The cover of the book features Raymond Floyd clutching a classic Zebra putter in one hand, and performing an f-you fist pump with the other. Bernhard Langer’s yips and other putting exploits factor into the story as well.
If you want to get fired up about this year’s Ryder Cup match at Medinah Country Club, look no further than The War by The Shore. Today, the action is more politically correct, the players more corporate…But one can always hope that this book will stir up some old ghosts and conjure a bit of old-time drama.
The War by The Shore is now available on Amazon via the PutterZone bookstore.