The 2019 Solheim Cup – the female version of the biannual match played between Europe and the United States, was always destined to be the curveball of what has been an American-dominated event over recent years but not quite in the fashion seen in Scotland this year.
Gleneagles, in which the 2014 Ryder Cup matches were also held, set the stage for a magnificent event once again. Immaculate, tightly-mown fairways, pure rolling surfaces, a redesigned 18th green and grandstands to match the event’s continued growth in stature that has been seen in recent years. This year’s Solheim cup truly put the female game right into the spotlight.
Befittingly, it went down to the last three groups on the Sunday; a testament to the week as a whole and that holed putt by Norwegian Veteran Suzann Pettersen to seal victory will go down into the history books. Only half an hour earlier the European team seemed dead and buried. Resilience across the board was needed and resilience was shown in spectacular fashion.
Moving forward, transferring this resilience across to the female game in general is now vital to capitalise on the legacy left in Gleneagles. Female golf had slowed over the past decade, as the sport struggled to attract the younger generations to play and remain in the game.
The Women in Golf Charter, initiated by the Royal and Ancient (R&A) was designed to counter that very issue and has already had huge success, with organisations across the globe, including the Confederation of Professional Golf [CPG], pledging to its cause.
Another female-driven initiative, Love.golf, led by Alistair Spink, is also having profound effects on changing perceptions and increasing female participation. It therefore seemed befitting for its story to be showcased to the masses in Scotland as well, with a group of 120 volunteers demonstrating why they love the sport and how it can benefit everybody.
It seems that the 2019 Solheim Cup, and this European victory was a huge success, but not just for Catriona Matthews and her team of superstars, but also for showcasing the gathering momentum that is clearly being seen across Women’s golf, both on the course and off it.