As the anticipation builds for the 2021 Ryder Cup this week, a lot of eyes will be on captain Padraig Harrington.
Harrington, of course, isn't the first Irishman to lead a team of Europeans, with Paul McGinley and Darren Clarke in charge in 2014 and 2016.
While Clarke fell short at Hazeltine in the States, McGinley was victorious at Gleneagles in Scotland by a five-point margin.
Speaking to the 'Local Knowledge' podcast by Golf Digest, McGinley gave a fascinating insight into what's involved as a Ryder Cup captain.
One story in particular stood out about Frenchman Victor Dubuisson. At the time, Dubuisson had automatically qualified for team selection.
McGinley visited Victor Dubuisson and spent three days getting to know him & his family. His mantra was understanding personalities. #People
— Matt Reveley 💙 (@M_Reveley) September 29, 2014
He was just 24 at the time and one of the youngest serving Ryder Cup members. McGinley recalls how he managed Dubuisson by letting his three mates be a part of the tournament.
"(Victor) had three really close friends who weren't really golfers that he grew up with. They were important for his mental wellbeing, they were important as a support group and a network for him to be there."
McGinley then invited them along.
I said 'No problem Victor, bring them along. I'll get them rooms there, they'll stay in the hotel no problem, we'll sort them out, we'll get them inside the ropes passes they will be there on your shoulder.'
In what was an incredibly sound gesture by McGinley to involve Dubuisson's close circle, it painted the larger picture of the intricacy gone into McGinley's captaining run.
While managing individuals is one aspect of that, so is the ability to take a step back. Something McGinley believes he mastered.
"You're taking guys who are trained from the age of 13. With an individual selfish mindset, I include myself in this is a golfer, you have to be somewhat selfish to be successful in this game."
Paul McGinley's qualifiers went 19-7-10. This was the highest winning percentage of any group of qualifiers over these 10 events.
Justin Rose, Graeme McDowell, and Victor Dubuisson did not lose a match.
— No Laying Up (@NoLayingUp) September 17, 2021
"So trying to take that mindset that they've been in since the age of 13, or 14, and take them in one week, every two years, and all of a sudden turn them into incredible teammates and incredible bonding.
"That's, that's something I don't think can be achieved," he said. "Don't contaminate what they do on a week to week basis ... let the bonding happen naturally, no, don't force it."
Dubuisson was eventually paired with Graeme McDowell and two won foursome matches against Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley, and Jimmy Walker and Rickey Fowler.
The Frenchman also featured in the final singles matchup, opposite Zach Johnson, and halved the match for the Europeans.