Ryder Cup: Don't get caught out-of-bounds

Smitten by Europe's epic comeback at Medinah on Sunday? Here's our brief blaggers' guide to the game for Johnny-Daly-come-lately golf fans

When England won The Ashes in 2005, cricket won a brigade of new fans. Will the drama of Europe's win at Medinah spark a similar boom for golf? If you're a new lover of the links, here's a starter guide to the differences between the Ryder Cup and the regular tours for those who don't know the difference between an albatross and an eagle:

Scoring: The Ryder Cup's matchplay (players compete hole-by-hole) offers non-stop drama. In Majors, players play for the lowest combined score. And then an American with a name that sounds like a celebrity hotel pseudonym wins.

Fashion: Europe's last-day, navy-and-white Seve Ballesteros tribute oozed class, but regular tour attire is famously dreadful – as exemplified by European hero Ian "Union Jack trousers" Poulter.

Dancing: Not all golf events are celebrated with a re-creation of José María Olazábal's 1987 Ryder Cup victory dance. We think.

Neil Patrick Harris: Not a golfer, but watching world number three Luke Donald is virtually impossible once you begin to confuse him with Doogie Howser, MD.

Sergio Garcia: On Sunday, the Spaniard nicked his match with a calm display of putting. In Majors, Garcia is more likely to lead going into the last day then shank his first tee shot into the nearest hotdog stand.

The EU: As has been noted at length, the Telegraph-reading denizens of British golf clubhouses willing on the success of the EU is is a solely biennial affair.

Heckling: Abuse of players is rare in this gentleman's game. As a general rule for spectating, aim for shame-faced sycophancy.

Money lists: In the Ryder Cup, the players are unpaid. In the European and US tours, players are measured by the wholly corinthian method of a money list.

All-night drinking: With dozens of losers, stroke play tournaments rarely end with the winner being gleefully covered in champagne. With the probable exception of Last Tango in Paris-era Tiger Woods.

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