Misery for hardy fans taken for a ride by corporate suppliers

The shuttle to the East Ryder Cup car park may not have been the Clapham omnibus, but the man had an opinion. Tidily dressed (or at least as tidily dressed as anyone can be after having spent a day walking about a muddy swamp in the rain), well-spoken, middle-aged, middle-class, a not untypical golf fan in fact, he addressed his fellow passengers politely. "Does anyone mind," he said, "if I have a rant?"

No one did, of course, and there followed a measured litany, accompanied by growing murmurs of agreement, as from a Greek chorus. The gist was not a whinge about the weather, which is out of mortal hands, or even about the fact that he had barely seen a ball struck for his £100 entry fee. It was the fact that his disappointment over the way the day had panned out was not helped by a niggling feeling of being ill-served once his hard-earned had been extracted.

Overpriced food at the pit stops and neither bacon for the butties nor any Danishes left by mid-morning anyway. Loos that had failed well before close of play. Few places to huddle in the dry (it being hardly rocket science that it might just rain in South Wales in October); then the inadequacy of such shelter as there was thrown into sharp relief by a patronising instruction to those out on the course to stay there so as to relieve congestion in the tented village. It seemed to him that once the audience had been made captive it was then treated with contempt.

And having done two days' hard pounding out in the field with some chums from my local course, I can back up Our Man On The Llanwern Shuttle over all of the above. Golfers tend to be a hardy lot – we go out to play in conditions that would have Bear Grylls reaching for a full survival pack, after all – and are quite used to the game itself wreaking unfair vengeance. But having the piss taken so blatantly by cynical business greed rather grated.

To have to pay £15 for three muffins and three orange juices was bad enough. But worse was the attitude of one of the Ryder Cup concessionaries. And I can tell you, coffee rage is not a pretty sight.

Arriving on the course early on Thursday after a pre-dawn start, it did not seem an unreasonable desire to have a spot of brekkie on the hoof before heading to the 14th green. But it turned out that to acquire a cup of coffee and something to eat it was necessary to queue twice.

The reason was that as one company, the Swiss-based Nestlé Nespresso (let us name names), was, in corporate-speak, the Preferred Supplier of the event's Official Coffee, the brown beans juice was sold solely at its outlet. And at the Nespresso stands, the harassed baristas were having to use machines that produced coffee one agonisingly slow, small cup at a time. At £2.50 a throw.

As early as 8.30am on a practice day, the coffee queue was snaking increasingly restlessly 25 minutes long. The Danish pastries advertised as an accompaniment had long since gone, if they were ever there. Ditto lids to avoid inevitable spillage. The mobile kiosk was supplied by a firm whose staff, at the sharp end of the barracking, were as frustrated as the punters; they explained that had they been allowed to use their own machines they could have doled out the same coffee 12 at a time.

Unfortunately, most golf fans will not vote with their feet by staying away, even when being ruthlessly exploited. The Ryder Cup is just far too much fun; and the players, at least, know how to give good value.

Suggested Topics
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little