Paul McGinley: We drank 72 bottles of wine at the Ryder Cup

"Obviously, it’s a changed atmosphere now on the course"

by Sead Dedovic
Paul McGinley: We drank 72 bottles of wine at the Ryder Cup
© Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images Sport

Paul McGinley is a man who left a huge mark on the golf scene. He impressed many with his qualities and continues to amaze. In an interview with the media, he recalled the great 2004 Ryder Cup when the European team inflicted a record defeat on the USA team.

McGinley drew a parallel between golf 15 years ago and golf now. This experienced golfer emphasized that many things have changed in a negative sense. “Is golf as fun as it was 15 years ago? I think they’re making three times the money we were making,” McGinley said on Golf Channel's Golf Today show, as quoted by!

“But the comradery we had in the game back then - and maybe it’s because we weren’t playing for as much money as they are now and we weren’t flying around everywhere in our private jets and there wasn’t 50 Netjets sitting at the airport to take players home every night”.

McGinley was Ryder Cup captain in 2014 and was surprised by the behavior of his players.
"I was amazed when I was [Ryder Cup] captain in 2014, nobody drank. I mean, nobody. I wasn't like, 'It's a Ryder Cup I'm not going to drink.'

It was a case of, 'No, I'm not drinking, I don't drink when I play. It's not even a question. Back in our day, there was quite a bit of alcohol consumed, it’s fair to say, even during Ryder Cups."

Paul McGinley talks about Oakland Hills and drinking alcohol

McGinley put special emphasis on alcohol and the fact that his team drank 72 bottles of wine in Oakland Hills.

There was a great atmosphere within the team, and you could feel the unity. McGinley believes that the atmosphere within the team is much different and that there have been major changes.
“When we won by a record margin in Oakland Hills under Bernhard Langer, I remember one of the backroom staff coming out and telling us - on the Saturday night, so this is before the Sunday - that we had drank 72 bottles of wine already, and that they had to go and re-up the order.

This is when matches were still on. It's not like we were getting drunk every night - far from it. But everyone would have had one, two, maybe three glasses of wine at night and it was normal. And nine, 10 out of the 12 players would do that.

Obviously, it’s a changed atmosphere now on the course. When there’s alcohol involved, as you well know, there’s always a bit more craic involved”.

Paul Mcginley Ryder Cup