Call forced Harris English to fix illegal grip right before Ryder Cup match

There was decidedly little drama on the final day of this year’s Ryder Cup. The U.S. led by six points entering singles before closing out a record 19-9 victory.

But that doesn’t mean that Sunday was entirely devoid of suspense. For Harris English, it all started two hours before his tee time when his phone rang.

“I get to the course on Sunday, I’m literally walking into the clubhouse, and I get a call from [U.S. captain] Steve [Stricker],” English recalled earlier this week on the “Fore the People Podcast” with John Peterson and J.J. Killeen. “I had no idea what he was calling me about; he hadn’t called me this whole week. He said, ‘Hey Harry, I’ve got some bad news. We’ve got the head rules official here and he wants to take a look at your putter grip.’ I’m like, ‘s—.’”

According to, English had been using the same tattered grip on his decade-plus-old Ping Hohum putter since his college days at Georgia. Over the years, the butt end of the grip had begun to fray, which is known in golf circles as a banana flap.

English said he’d never before had a complaint about the old grip, but next thing he knew he was talking to a few officials.



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