Brandon TuckerThis Week at Sept. 18, 2008

American fundamentals are anything but strong in this weekend's Ryder Cup

"The fundamentals are strong."

A wide range of American political pundits have been dissecting that statement this week. And the same kind of debates are going on in 19th holes all over this great nation.

Whether it's the United States' economy or Ryder Cup squad, the "fundamentals" in question seem about as wobbly as a game of Jenga.

For the past few weeks, we've all be trying to psych ourselves into thinking the American team has a fighting chance at Valhalla Golf Club this weekend.

We've suggested practical arguments: "The golf course suits the U.S. playing style."

We've served up outlandish ones, too: "The U.S. is better off without Tiger."

We've considered that the No. 2 man, Phil Mickelson, may be capable of filling the absent World Number One's Nikes.

We've argued the six American Ryder Cup rookies - who probably haven't played "alternate shot" in years, or faced this kind of intense international spotlight - will bring with them a fresh new approach to an ailing team.

We say Kenny Perry will provide key veteran poise - without mentioning he didn't play in a major all year.

We salivate over J.B. Holmes' long ball, while omitting his matchplay collapse to Tiger earlier this year.

We've even tried to point the finger, saying that, by selecting two Englishmen with his captain's picks, Nick Faldo has divided a famously close-knit European team.

It all sounds like a lot of baseless verbosity. Perhaps tomorrow morning when I walk the grounds of Valhalla and see the players myself, I'll drink the Kool-Aid and start to believe.

But right now, I'm not buying a U.S. return to glory. The fundamentals are anything but strong. And the media elite, wanting everyone to believe this contest will be close so they keep on their TV sets, can't convince me otherwise.

I'm talking about the Ryder Cup, of course.

As always, welcomes your comments.

Fort Myers-Lead 1

Fort Myers Golf Package Dates: January 7, 2008 - December 25, 2008

Stay at Santa Maria Harbour Resort and play Copperhead Golf Club starting at $78.50.

Price Range: $78 - $152

For more information, please call 1-800-767-3574 or click here.

Dave Berner's PodcastPodcast: Course designer Arthur Hills, Premier Aerials photography, and new Wild Rock Golf Club in Wisconsin

Podcast host Dave Berner talks to famed golf course architect Arthur Hills about his current design projects. Premier Aerials' Braden Hanson on photographing some of the nation's best golf courses. Also: Kiel Christianson on brand new Wild Rock Golf Club in the Wisconsin Dells.

Blog: Arthur Hills doesn't act like a celebrity architect


The Refuge in Lake Havasu - ArizonaHomesites in The Refuge golf community in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. are available now

The Refuge at Lake Havasu is surrounded by the natural calm of the American southwest, making it an ideal location for building your own private retreat. The ready-to-build homesites in the gated, master-planned golf community are situated adjacent to the National Wildlife Refuge and along the shores of the Colorado River and Lake Havasu. Several lots have lake views, while others have views of the Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course. Register now for this exciting auction.

Also: Get more info on The Refuge auction

Michigan State FootballWith overrated Notre Dame coming, don't forget East Lansing's golf

All season, is highlighting a key college football matchup and looking at the golf around the home team's campus. This Saturday Michigan State hosts Notre Dame. Here are some of the top courses in East Lansing, including the Arthur Hills-designed courses at Forest Akers right on campus, Timber Ridge and Eagle Eye. Also: Where to throw back some beers.

Also: Top Michigan golf vacation package deals

Indian Wells Golf Package at the MiraMonte Resort and Spa

Palm Springs Golf Packages Dates: June 16, 2008 - December 18, 2008

Enjoy 2 night stay at MiraMonte Resort and Spa and play 2 rounds at The Golf Resort at Indian Wells Celebrity or Players Course and Silver Rock Golf Resort, starting from $694.
Price Range: $694

For more information, please call 1-800-767-3574 or click here.

Heathland Bull Bay Golf ClubBull Bay: Wales' northernmost golf course is a heathland beast

Bull Bay Golf Club on the Isle of Anglesey should be part of your North Wales golf trip. This 19th century gem, designed by legendary Herbert Fowler of golf designs "Golden Age," is a classic heathland. But it's as enjoyable as any links course in Wales, Brandon Tucker writes.

Gallery: Bull Bay Golf Club in Wales


Whitefish - MontanaLuxury condos at Deer Creek in Whitefish - Montana's top golf spot - available now

Deer Creek at Whitefish is a luxury condo development featuring classically-designed multilevel attached homes with spacious floor plans. The expertly appointed interiors reflect the natural character of its rugged surroundings with earthy tones, natural stone and rich wood floors as well as attractive finishes such as granite countertops and chrome Moen fixtures. Whitefish is home to Montana's only 36-hole golf course, Whitefish Lake Golf Club. Register now for this exciting auction.

Also: Get more info on Deer Creek

Kohala Coast Golf Packages
Dates: October 18, 2017 - December 31, 2018
Luxurious ocean view rooms are guaranteed!
Price range: $429