The crowds continue to grow here at Gleneagles at the Solheim Cup. Fans on the first tee today Saturday were even nosier than yesterday. Sunday’s singles matches may require ear plugs.
But what’s driving this huge crowd and enthusiasm? I believe two factors are at work.
First: More women are traveling to golf courses and resorts and are doing it together. According to the director of golf operations at Gleneagles, courses in the area like Gullane Links and North Berwick have had more women players this week than at any other time than they can remember.
One of the travel leaders organizing these excursions is Barbara J. Gutstadt, founder of Women’s Golf & Travel Concierge. She has brought 200 women from the States to the Solheim Cup. You will recognize them by their fan costumes and noisemakers. Barbara recognized me in the lunch line.
Hall of Famer Nancy Lopez, who is one of Juli Inkster’s assistant captains this week, also organizes golf tours for women, combining lessons with the trip.
The second reason that this Solheim is drawing the crowds is because it is being played in Scotland, the home of the game with iconic places like St Andrews, Carnoustie and Kingsbarns. The country places a premium on golf tourism because it is an important revenue source.
It helps to see the Solheim Cup attracting a global television audience. And while this Jack Nicklaus-designed course at Gleneagles is not traditional links, the beauty of this area has been attracting golfers for more than a century. And this course has several sets of tees for golfers of all abilities.
We are truly lucky to be watching the greatest women golfers compete in this historic competition established by Louise and Karsten Solheim founders of PING golf.
After tomorrow’s round, join in celebrating your favored team. Then make plans with other women golfers to visit Scotland.
Watch for my final blog on Sunday congratulating the winning team and inspiring more women to play more golf and travel to more grand golf.