The Ryder Cup is known the world over as the Golf competition, bringing Golfers and sports fans alike together.
The Solheim Cup is a less well known competition (but not for long), with the same format for professional women golfers, contested by teams representing Europe and the United States. The figures speak for themselves of close encounter after close encounter since its inception in 1990. In fact, closer than their male counterparts! This is a competition played out over 3 nail biting days, alternating between Europe and America with this year’s Cup being played in Colorado.
Speak to any player on tour and they want to be part of the Solheim Cup. The strange thing is Golf is a singular sport, yet the Solheim Cup, as with the Ryder Cup is about team. So why do players want to jump format so readily? We spent time with players, officials and Solheim Cup Europe captain Lotta Nuemann during the European Masters to find out why and what makes this tournament so special.
With each player that we spoke to there was no doubt in their minds that they wanted to be a part of the Solheim Cup and in a team. The theme always seemed to be the same, one of camaraderie, playing in the highlight of the Golfing calendar and the opportunity to play alongside friends in a team environment. The players all agree that it’s a privilege, an honour to represent their respective teams, not a right and this is one of the key differences and one that is fundamental in creating the feel that there is amongst the players. There seem to be no bitter rivalries or scores to settle but a genuine desire to have an eventful few days playing Golf with the finest golfers of the moment on a beautiful course with the prize, the Solheim Cup as the spoils for the winners.
This competition is being approached by both teams and individuals with excitement, positivity and fun. With this approach there is only one outcome, success. Success for those taking part, for the game, for women’s sport, the fans and the Solheim Cup. There is such a good feel surrounding this competition, which in some sports is sorely missing.
As the Solheim Cup hurtles toward us we look forward to some great Golf and a broadening and growth in popularity on both sides of the pond. With America having won 8 of the 12 encounters and Europe 4, it sounds interesting. Add in the fact that the Americans have never lost on home soil and you have the makings of a belter of a competition!!
Good luck to all the players and support staff taking part in a competition that is just going to keep getting bigger.