A late Ryder Cup call-up...

Paul McGinley with the trophy at the European team photo-call
(Image credit: © ROLEX/Chris Turvey)

Jeremy Ellwood reflects on a last-minute call-up to the Ryder Cup - courtesy of key Ryder Cup Europe partner Rolex - and yesterday's opening ceremony...

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 10.25.25

Two weeks ago I had no idea or expectation that I’d be attending the Ryder Cup, but when the call came in for someone to attend a special Rolex media trip and mine was miraculously the chosen name, suddenly here I am, perched above an as-yet unused 18th fairway in the Rolex hospitality suite.

And what an experience so far even for a reasonably experienced golf journalist! In reality, I’ve only attended the Ryder Cup once before, when editor Mike Harris and I headed over to the K Club in 2006 at a time when websites and blogging were still in their infancy, and social media hadn’t yet come on the radar… certainly not my radar anyway! We had a whale of a time blogging our way through the week and devising impromptu late-night putting competitions around our media hotel.

Stunning Kinross House is about 35 minutes from Gleneagles

Stunning Kinross House is about 35 minutes from Gleneagles

So yesterday morning, I found myself heading up to the quite magnificent Kinross House in Perthshire, the Rolex base for the week, and then onto the opening ceremony where our seats ultimately saw us wedged between the European junior Ryder Cup team, and Team Europe’s caddies… which was interesting.

Yesterday's opening ceremony kicked things off in style

Yesterday's opening ceremony kicked things off in style

You may have watched it on telly, and have your own thoughts on it, and I know some journalists can err on the side of cynicism over such spectacles, but do you know what… I really enjoyed it. Dougie and Di were professional, the speeches were the right length and not overhyped, and the Scottishness of the whole thing wasn’t overdone which can sometimes be the danger in these sort of things.

I thought it set the scene perfectly for what would lie ahead on Friday morning, more of which in my next blog…

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf

Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response