Former Ryder Cup skipper Sam Torrance says Nick Faldo was wrong to make Paul McGinley and Jose Maria Olazabal joint vice-captains for the 2008 event.
Torrance played for Europe in the Ryder Cup eight times
Both accepted, but Faldo announced on Wednesday that McGinley had given up the role, prefering instead to focus on earning a playing position in the team.
Torrance said: "I thought it was horrific of Faldo to ask Olazabal and McGinley to be vice-captains.
"I can't think of anything they need to be doing nine months before an event."
Torrance, who led the European team to victory at The Belfry in 2002, added: "It was a real mistake in my mind.
"The vice-captains can't do anything, unless you have something you specifically want them to do.
"They should come in with six weeks to go, and talk to the players, look after them if need be. But to ask two current players - to me that's just an insult."
Torrance added: "McGinley's pulled out, which I think is great. He now has the chance to get his head down, and get on with his game."
Torrance, 54, stressed he would want to give 40-year-old McGinley and 41-year-old Olazabal - veterans of three and seven previous Ryder Cups respectively - every chance of making the team in a playing capacity.
Faldo will captain the European team next September in Valhalla, Kentucky.