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Get Ready for the Solheim Cup – What You Need to Know

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Get Ready for the Solheim Cup – What You Need to Know

The Solheim Cup is around the corner, here's what you should know before you tune-in
Solheim Cup Team USA and Europe
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Written By:

Nancy Berkley

Nancy Berkley is a golf writer, speaker, industry marketing consultant with a focus on women's and girls' golf.

First, some background:

The Solheim Cup is a 3-day match-play team competition between twelve women from Team USA and twelve women from Team Europe. The first Solheim Cup was held in 1990 and has been played in alternate years except when it was moved to odd-numbered years in 2003. It also alternates venues between the United States and Europe. The 2017 matches were contested in Des Moines, Iowa and the 2021 event will be in Toledo, Ohio.

These 2019 matches will be played on the Jack Nicklaus designed Centenary Course at Gleneagles Scotland.  The course is not far from the town of Stirling where Mary Queen of Scots was born. Mary Queen of Scots is considered the first woman golfer.  She played in France with “cadets” carrying her golf clubs. That’s the origin of the word “caddie.”

The Solheim Cup takes its name from the generous gift of Louise and Karsten Solheim, the founders of PING golf.

Now, for the formats:

There are three “match play” formats used in the Solheim Cup.

On Friday and Saturday morning, the format is “Foursomes,” commonly called Alternate Shot in America. On Friday and Saturday afternoon the format is Fourballs (referred to commonly as “best ball”). On Sunday – the final round, the format is singles.

Foursomes [Alternate Shot] — each player in the twosome alternates shots with her teammate and hits the same ball.  [Four players but only 2 balls in play]

Afternoon: Fourballs – [4 balls in play on each hole] The best score of each partnership is used for the team score.

Sunday Singles – 12 one-on-one matches – 12 points to win or lose.

Team USA needs 14 points to retain the Cup. Team Europe needs 14.5 points to regain the Cup.

Players do not know who they are competing against until the Captains announce the daily roster for the matches. There is a great deal of strategizing by each Captain about who plays well together AND the order of play.

Every day will be exciting. Stay tuned!

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