Inside Medinah's Ryder Cup Course - NBC Chicago

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Inside Medinah's Ryder Cup Course

Where "the Super Bowl of golf" is going down



    Our cameras got exclusive access to the Medinah Country Club course where the world's greatest golfers will be play later this week. (Published Monday, Sept. 24, 2012)

    Even though the Ryder Cup is team golf and you'll hear a lot about camaraderie and teamwork and taking out the opponent and all that, at its very core it still breaks down to golf's elemental level.

    On every shot, it's still one guy versus the course. However the host gets to tailor that course to their team's needs and strengths. Medinah will be no different this time around.

    Medinah is steeped in history. It has hosted three U.S. Opens and two PGA Championships, both of those in the past 15 years. They were both won by Tiger Woods. You may remember the first being his long-awaited second major after he simply tortured the field at the 1996 Masters.

    It certainly won't disappoint the U.S. captain that Woods also won the other PGA there or that Tiger will feel pretty comfortable on the course, because his Ryder Cup record is not exactly thrilling.

    That's also why Love has tampered down this course, because most of the players have Tiger's style of play. The rough has been shaved down to not nearly be the punishment for missing the fair way. The greens are fast but will hold approach shots. That's because the Yank side is filled with guys who want to bomb it off the tee and play in approaches with touch. They still want to do that if they miss the fairway, and the low rough will allow them to do so.

    This won't be such a departure for the European side as it would have in the past. Almost the entire European team spends at least a good portion of their year on the PGA tour and would have played courses like this. But still, it's what the Americans were raised on.

    As for the course itself, there's a bit of everything. There's a couple obvious birdie holes, such as #3 and #15 which are short. No. 15 has water all along it but could play where players can drive the green. There are a couple holes that might require a cab ride to get to the green in regulation, such as #14 and #16.

    But like any Ryder Cup, it's all going to be decided on the greens. Those will be treacherous at points, but it's going to have more to do with what's between the players' ears than beneath their feet.