FIT like? GB&I’s club professionals are certainly in fine fettle as they prepare for the defence of the PGA Cup against their US counterparts at Foxhills this weekend.

That well-kent Doric enquiry of one’s health is particularly apt for team captain Albert MacKenzie and Aberdonian team member Greig Hutcheon.

“Albert is originally from Hopeman so we’ve been communicating in the Doric language,” reported Hutcheon. “I think Albert and myself could definitely speak without anyone else actually knowing what we’re saying and that could be handy.”

In the nip-and-tuck environment of team golf, every little helps in the efforts to pinch an advantage here or steal a march there. Perhaps the Americans will get the heebie-jeebies when they hear the phrase ‘foos yer doos’ on the first tee prior to Friday’s opening fourballs?

Across the board in golf’s various transatlantic tussles, the US have been fighting back.

The Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup and the Walker Cup are now back in American clutches and the GB&I PGA Cup campaigners are determined to ensure that the Llandudno Trophy doesn’t go the same way.

Success in this biennial battle doesn’t come along too often for this week’s hosts. In the 27 meetings between the sides going back to 1973, GB&I have six wins to the USA’s 17 with four ties.

The weight of history may be against them but, importantly for morale and momentum, GB&I made a historic breakthrough in the 2015 contest at CordeValle when they won for the first time on American soil.

It was an epic affair with Irishman Niall Kearney holding his nerve on the very last hole of the very last singles match to claim the winning point in a nail-nibbling, hands-over-the-eyes 13 ½ - 12 ½ triumph.

This weekend, MacKenzie’s side will aiming to do something a GB&I side has done only twice before, namely claim back-to-back wins.

Picking the golfing brain of the European Ryder Cup captain, Thomas Bjorn, has aided MacKenzie’s preparations.

“The point that resonated with me (from the Bjorn meeting) was that the team spirit will eventually emanate from the individual prowess displayed by the players,” said MacKenzie.

“They have worked hard within an individual sport allowing them to be where they are today.

“Although you want them to bond as a team, part of this unity will be to ensure that they’re still surrounded by their own traits, habits and comforts, which is why they’re successful in the first place.”

Only two members of the 10-man side have played in the PGA Cup before but eight of them are all former European Tour players.

The likes of Philip Archer, Robert Coles, Andrew Raitt, David Higgins and Damien McGrane have been around the block more times than an absent-minded postman while the well-travelled Hutcheon, who played in the thrilling 13-13 draw at Slaley Hall in 2013, remains a formidable competitor.

Caldwell pro Chris Currie, meanwhile, is the youngest player in the team at 35 and the Tartan Tour man is relishing his debut in this three-day, Ryder Cup-style joust.