Team spirit key to Cup
Shakespeare's Henry V speech before the Battle of Agincourt could have been written for European Ryder Cup teams of yore. But not any more.
But enough of all that.
Europe go into this year's Ryder Cup as favourites having won the last three events, and the last two by record margins.
For possibly the first time ever, the Americans will be underdogs on their own soil, and not just because they are missing the world's best player Tiger Woods.
Stats and reality don't always match up, of course, and home advantage, a canny captain, luck and a fair wind could yet see the US triumph.
One reason the Europeans have turned the tables on the once-unbeatable Americans is because the trans-Atlantic - and global - rift in calibre and strength-in-depth of players has narrowed significantly in recent times.
But Europe have for many years now added up to far more than the sum of their parts. And the theory generally trotted out is because of a greater team spirit and a collective desire to prove themselves.
"The underdog mindset is huge. There's an old saying that if you're not afraid to lose, you're not afraid to win. If you have nothing to lose, there's real freedom in that."
The consensus is that the closer European bonds stem from the European Tour, where players tend to spend more time together, travelling, eating, sharing hotels and transport to tournaments. In short, they are used to being in each other's company.
The Americans, on the other hand, tend to keep themselves to themselves.
"When you go to a tournament hotel in America, there will be one player dining at each table," said former US and European Tour pro and 5 Live golf commentator Jay Townsend. "For the Europeans it would be bad etiquette to do that.
"The Americans are all of a sudden thrust into a team format at the Ryder Cup and they don't know what to do or how to act and think. They want to win but they're not really sure how to go about it."
Of course, the Americans have won plenty of Ryder Cups over the years - the last in 1999 - so they must have bonded, if that's what it takes, at some point.
The paradox to all this is that earlier this year Nick Faldo berated some of the European players for being too chummy, claiming it was holding them back in the individual pursuit of majors. Faldo said he would never have done it with the likes of Seve, though the pair of them played on successful Ryder Cup teams together.
"Without question one of the things that creates team spirit better than anything else is winning," added Morris. "Success has an amazing way of binding people together, as has happened with Europe recently, and failure has a way of opening cracks in the armoury."
But as with Europe in the past, so with the US now - the expectation of failure can be an equally potent galvanising force.
"What we underestimate at our peril this time is that the Americans will have a 'backs-to-the-wall' mentality," said Morris.
"Europe have got to be very careful that they don't play too much on this team spirit aspect and expect that they just need to turn up to win."
Before the last Ryder Cup, US skipper Tom Lehman took his players to the K Club for a two-day bonding exercise, while in the days leading up to the event he organised more team-building stunts, such as making each player sing a song, including Woods, who apparently tried to get out of it before giving a rendition of his college ditty.
"I love Tom Lehman but I thought some of that stuff was kind of hokey," said Townsend. "You're not going to create that atmosphere in a couple of days."
There's a school of thought that suggests Woods's absence at Valhalla might help the rest of the US team to perform better.
"Tiger is an icon. And while he has a great sense of humour and loves to tease people - and is happy to have it done in return - that greatness often leaves people around him in awe," said Townsend.
"And if the people around him are uncomfortable, that can affect how they perform on the golf course."
Morris reckons Azinger's priority should be to create an environment in which all players feel comfortable to air their views.
"A fundamental human desire is to be understood," he said. "Instead of being dictatorial, team meetings should make everyone feel involved."
Townsend, though, reckons Azinger's way will be substance over style.
"Azinger is a unique character. He speaks his mind and he won't sugarcoat anything," he said. "He will have no problems kicking somebody in the butt if he thinks they're not holding up their end. Nobody's going to get a free ride.
"The Ryder Cup is meant to be played in the spirit that golf is the ultimate beneficiary, but for Azinger anything less than victory will be considered absolute failure."
One area that Azinger can exploit is the home advantage and he has been instrumental in setting up the course.
"The golf course will definitely suit someone who is a long hitter," Valhalla's head pro Keith Reese told 5 Live. "We haven't grown the rough up real long and our landing areas are fairly generous."
This explains why Azinger chose as one of his wildcards the Kentucky local and big-hitter JB Holmes. The prospect of Holmes and fellow Kentuckian Kenny Perry in the first fourball on Friday morning is arousing plenty of excitement in the locals.
The captains, their manouevrings and their attempts at fostering team spirit will garner plenty of headlines during the Ryder Cup week.
But, ultimately, the result is about the 24 men bashing a white ball around a field.
"We've got to be careful not to get too carried away by the importance of the captaincy," said Morris.
"It is still 99.9% about each individual hitting good golf shots."