Presidents Cup Saturday survival guide

Before we give you some hacks to handle Super Saturday at Royal Melbourne, first some observations about foursomes golf, in particular alternate-shot foursomes played on day two of the Presidents Cup.

Most club golfers develop an unexpected family commitment or need to service the lawnmower on the one time a year the foursomes turn up on the annual club golfing calendar. Why wouldn’t you? It’s the hardest, most frustrating format of golf for the average hacker.

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Adam Hadwin grimaces after missing a putt to win his match on the 17th.

It’s a thrill for the pros here though, and several under the card is par for the course. It’s a thing of beauty if you have some control over your swing, but since very few of us have that, here’s a tip: Apologise profusely.

Do it before you even tee off. Promise to remain friends afterwards, and then charge into the round. You are going to hit some awful shots, and feel awful about where you leave your playing partner, the putts you miss, the duffed tee-shots. The best approach is the old maxim: never complain, never explain. Apologise at the end if you were truly awful, but usually once is enough.

Since you are coming down to Royal Melbourne tomorrow, there are a few things you need to bring:

1: A small, foldable canvas chair. By the time you’ve stood on tippy-toes to see Tiger’s three-foot putt from 80m your calf muscles are going to beon fire, with razor blades running through the muscles, and nowhere to sit. Bring your own, or bring a bundle and sell them. You’ll make a fortune.

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Bring a folding chair.

2: Your sense of humour. The Presidents Cup crowds are very pro-International. You will hear banter usually reserved for Bay 13 at the MCG, targeted primarily at the Americans and delivered in the classic style Aussies are famous for.

3: Banter to listen for: Adam Scott is called ‘Scohhhh-Teee’, Louis Oosthuizen is simply known as ‘Loooo-eeee’, Mark Leishman is ‘Leish’, and Patrick Reed is constantly being asked if he plans using his foot wedge. And if you happen to see US player Gary Woodland hit a sweet shot the usual banter is ‘Nice, Garr-eee’. Tim Paine eat your heart out.

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Louis Oosthuizen surrounded by fans after his win alongside Adam Scott.

4: Wear some quality footwear. Yep, this is the one time of the year your over-sized camouflage cargos, tucked in polo, matching Callaway hat, brown belt and red sneakers is the perfect outfit for the day. If you can’t find a matching belt for your red sneakers, don’t worry – no-one cares. Comfort is everything.

5: Work out your hours of operation. Are you going to be here for the first ball struck and last putt sunk? Good luck, because it’s a long, long day (bring a chair) if you want to see everything. We can recommend gentleman’s hours – a nice breakfast, juice, second cup of coffee and making sure you get here by the time the players make the turn. That way you won’t miss the most thrilling part of the rounds as players try everything to get in front before the 18th.

Hideki Matsuyama looks to hole a putt on the fourth.
Hideki Matsuyama looks to hole a putt on the fourth.

6: Also bring just a small backpack, not the 7kg fully-loaded behemoth you load into hand luggage. You need to travel light, so pick your ingredients with mobility in mind: sunscreen, sunglasses, course map, water bottle, your wallet (there’s plenty of awesome food here), some headache tablets (it’s dry work), some headache tablets (if you’re in a corporate box), your mobile phone (for emergencies like locating toilets) and that’s about it. Your bags will be checked, and you’ll need a pretty good excuse to get a large bag through checkpoints.

7: Last but not least, do your homework. Think strategically. These groups come through in waves, so the best thing to do is pick a spot on a hole ahead of all the groups and wait it out. Then you’ll see everyone play through, and you can pack up and jump ahead again. You’ll be thankful for that fold-up chair as well.

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