The Ryder Cup visits Rome in 2023. Who will the captains and team be? What is the course like?
The Ryder Cup heads to Italy for the first time in 2023, when the Marco Simone Golf Club just outside of Rome hosts the action.
So what shall we expect?
We list what you need to know about the 2023 Ryder Cup, from who the captains and teams may be to what the course is like…
Ryder Cup 2023: What You Need To Know
Who will the 2023 Ryder Cup captains be?
Lee Westwood will captain the Europeans, you can put your house on it.
Westwood will be the ideal home skipper, popular with everyone and he’ll just have turned 50 so it would be quite a leap of faith to expect him to threaten yet another playing role.
And, since we’re in Italy, expect to see a Molinari or two in his backroom team along with the usual suspects of Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell and maybe we’ll see Darren Clarke on the sidelines.
In the other corner we’ll hopefully see Tiger Woods who has been in Steve Stricker’s ear with his thoughts this year and he’s already had a playing captaincy role at the Presidents Cup.
We shouldn’t expect him to repeat that but this is Tiger so why not? Why would you write him off doing anything?
He’s pretty pally with Stricker so he’ll likely be at his side and Zach Johnson will probably be part of the scene as he builds up to his captaincy.
With Phil Mickelson expected to lead the Americans in 2025 how mind-blowing would it be to have him as an assistant in Italy?!
What do we know about the 2023 Ryder Cup course?
The Marco Simone Golf and Country Club hosted the Italian Open in 1994 but what we see today is a completely different course.
The redesign of all 18 holes, which only began in August 2018, was done by European Golf Design along with Tom Fazio II and they have created a layout made for matchplay.
There are risk-and-reward opportunities in among the rolling countryside terrain.
And it offers up a strong finish with two stiff par 4s at 14 and 15, a short 4 at 16, a tough par-3 17th before a water-filled 18th.
“The 14th and 15th are two very good par 4s, you need to hit two very good shots on both to have a birdie chance. They can easily make the 16th drivable, and 17 is a brilliant par 3, maybe the best hole on the course. The green is long and thin with trouble on both sides. The 18th is a par 5 with all the ingredients to produce an exciting climax. Things will happen on those holes.”
For the fans there are natural vantage points as well as distant views of Rome, which is only 10 miles away.
There is the 18-hole championship course and also a nine-hole resort course.
The course is owned by the Biagiotti family who run global businesses in fashion and fragrance.
In the end there were only four bids for the 2022 Ryder Cup, which has now been pushed back to 2023, and Italy beat off Germany, Austria and Spain in the process.
What do they say about the Marco Simone Golf and Country Club?
The Italian Open brought up a lot of feedback on the course and there appears to be lots of work still to do.
Oliver Wilson, who played in the 2008 matches, said: “No holes stood out for me which is the problem really. The greens are immaculate, the surfaces brilliant. And yes, the undulations are nice and the green complexes are really good.
“But there are nine greens you can’t see when you are hitting your approach shot. There is so much elevation change. So the holes are not amazing. Not once did I think, ‘This is a great hole.’”
Other players had to speak anonymously and the 219-yard par-3 7th got a lot of the attention.
“That green is horrendous. It looks like a cartoon where the character pulls up quickly and the ground curls up like a carpet. I watched one player chip his ball one yard onto the green and it finished over the back of a green that is 47 yards long.”
And there was more, all of it bad, on the front-nine par 3: “The green is appalling. It looks like the shaper was on a mission to screw the architect. They can’t be friends. So many waves and slopes and humps, it’s just too much. I’m not sure what they were trying to do. And these are the people who are building our arenas. It’s shocking.”
Matt Fitzpatrick, who will likely play in the 2023 matches, added more fuel to the ‘needs tinkering’ fire: “I was in the middle of a fairway, on a downslope, hitting a 5-iron to a green way above me. It made no sense. I’m in what should be the ideal spot and I couldn’t keep my ball on the green.”
In terms of the Ryder Cup another anonymous player added: “I’m not sure why we would build a course that would favour the Americans more than the Europeans. But I feel that is the case.
“Historically, the Americans have been longer than us. And here there are a few places where you can really cut the corners if you bomb it.
“Also, putting on undulating, quick greens is what the Americans are more used to. On both counts, we will likely be at a disadvantage.”
But there was some good news, albeit for the fans, from Pepperell: “This is a good matchplay course and built perfectly for crowds. There are plenty of hills to stand on, so I think it will be a good venue.
“It has clearly been built with the Ryder Cup in mind. They’ve thought about the fans.
“I’ve never been of the opinion that a Ryder Cup course has to be spectacular. It just has to be a great spectacle.”
Who might be on the 2023 Ryder Cup teams?
There will be the usual obsession with course form so you’ll be hearing a lot about Nicolai Hojgaard in the next couple of years after his win in Italy.
All being well his general play and progress will push him and his twin brother Rasmus onto the team.
All being well Bob MacIntyre will make his debut and, for the home fans, there is the very real prospect of Guido Migliozzi and/or Francesco Laporta getting on the team.
Then there’s the likes of Thomas Detry and Matt Wallace and you’d be a clown not to consider strongly the reappearance of Justin Rose.
For the Americans Sam Burns was unlucky not to get the nod this time around, Will Zalatoris will be a strong contender if his form continues on the same upward trajectory and it would be great if the very likeable Max Homa made it onto the side.
Matt Wolff, Cam Champ, Maverick McNealy – the young hotshot list, as always, is endless.
Who might not be on the 2023 Ryder Cup teams?
This could be the changing of the guard with six of the 2021 team now in their forties.
It’s only two years away but surely Westwood will be otherwise engaged and Ian Poulter will be done.
Then again we could have written the same after Paris and that was back in 2018.
It’s hard to make a case for who won’t be there for the Americans as this year’s side is so young – Dustin Johnson is the oldest in their ranks at just 37 and he’s the World No. 2.
Maybe Harris English will be a one-and-done Ryder Cupper.