One Question with: Paul Azinger

Posted on October 18, 2021
Ryder Cup Captain Paul Azinger

Photo Credit: Golf365

Last month the United States won the 43rd Ryder Cup, a biennial men’s golf competition between teams from Europe and the United States.  It was only the fourth time the U.S. had taken the Cup in past 20 years.  David Love, III captain of the last U.S. Ryder Cup team to win in 2016, credited former 2008 captain Paul Azinger for setting the stage for future captains of the Ryder Cup of how to think about being a captain.  According to Love, Azinger took coaching and team building to a new level.  Like the U.S. Ryder Cup team, CGI+ leadership team has been using this pods concept for years, which has resulted in creating  new leaders within our firm who have helped us to achieve greater and greater success.

Paul Azinger: I watched documentary on how the Navy turns raw recruits into Seals, the most effective and feared fighting force ever assembled.  Between segments on special weapons and tactic training and ‘drown-proofing” the recruits, one of the officers said, “We break the men into small groups.  That’s the core.  Those guys eat sleep, and train together until they know what the others are thinking.   Every man knows what his fellow SEAL is going to do before he does it.  They bond with each other in a way you can’t understand if you’ve never been there.”  I decided to use that concept to take our  12 players  and make three four-man teams, or family of players  out of them.   I made the decision to let them decide within their groups on how they wanted to play these matches.   Those guys were told that they were going to be in that pod, that they were going make each other better, and come up with their own strategy.   The Ryder Cup is made up of millions of decisions.  It came together and they played great. *

Excerpted from Global Post Golf, “An Undefeated System: Paul Azinger and the 2008 Ryder Cup.

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