Colin Byrne: Europe more of a team when it comes to Ryder Cup

As caddies we do sometimes get the feeling of really belonging to something special. When you arrive with a distinguished player in a strange country where golf is in its infancy and they whisk you through the private air terminal, stamp your passport in the comfort of an exclusive lounge and generally get pampered like some international dignitary, you get the sense of occasion.

When you win a tournament, the barriers that were imposed on you at the event somehow disappear as you watch your player hoist the trophy on a Sunday evening. You are suddenly part of the sponsors and VIP procession. There is a sense of being part of something special, a unique occasion.

Most other weeks we arrive in a foreign airport amid the usual terminal bustle and battle our way anonymously to a metro, a rental car desk or a bus stop and start asking loads of questions about how to get to the golf course. That is the reality of life on tour for a caddie.

This week it is really different. The Ryder Cup week is unreal, it involves a lot of caddying but not like you have know it.

This is big time, the closest that golf will get to the atmosphere of a World Cup final, a Super Bowl or an All-Ireland final, and that will be from the time they boarded the plane in London last Monday until the time they disperse as individuals again at the Dunhill Cup at St Andrews next Monday.

The European caddie shack is a reflection of the locker-room, with an equal balance of really seasoned campaigners like Billy Foster working for Lee Westwood – this is his 13th time and so he will definitely be considered the “caddie daddy” this week – and rookies.

His advice, I already heard him pass on to Andy Sullivan’s novice at one of the many rain delays in Italy a few weeks back, was to get some time to yourself because you will find it extremely difficult once you board the plane at Heathrow.

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