Ladies That Golf / The Solheim Cup

The Solheim Cup

The Solheim Cup is the most prestigious event in ladies’ professional golf. During the event that is held every second year, a team of golfers representing the United States competes against the team of European golfers. The event was named after its founder and sponsor, Karsten Solheim who is also the founder of the Karsten Manufacturing Corporation which produces PING golf equipment.

A Brief History of the Solheim Cup and Results

The Solheim Cup was held for the first time in 1990. The concept of the tournament was developed by the Solheim family together with the LPGA and the LET. From 1990 to 2000, the event was held every even number year, alternating with its male equivalent, the Ryder Cup. However, after the 9/11, the Ryder Cup was postponed to 2002. As a result, the Solheim Cup was postponed to 2003 and has been held every odd numbered year ever since.

From 1990 to 2012, twelve Solheim Cup competitions were held with the 2013 event being scheduled to take place at the Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colorado. The team USA won on eight occasions, while team Europe managed to defeat the American golfers only four times.

Selection of the Players for Teams

The team USA is selected according to the points system based on the results on the LPGA Tour. The European team, on the other hand, isn’t selected on the basis of the results achieved on the LET. In fact, only seven players were chosen according to the points system by 2005. From 2007 onwards, only top five golfers on the LET qualify for the team Europe, while four are chosen according to the Women’s World Golf Rankings. Because the LPGA Tour remains dominant in women’s professional golf and attracts virtually all the best golfers including European ones, such system of selection (rather than the points system on the basis of LET results) allows the team Europe to be an equal adversary to the team USA.

In addition to golfers that are selected for each of the two teams according to the methods described above, both teams also include the so-called “captain’s picks” or golfers that are selected by the teams’ captains and don’t necessary reflect their formal rankings. However, captain’s picks are usually the next best ranked players. Captains are traditionally professional golfers who recently retired and have experience playing at the Solheim Cup.

The PING Junior Solheim Cup

The PING Junior Soheim Cup is a version of the Solheim Cup for young female golfers. It follows the concept of the Solheim Cup except that it is played by a team of US amateur girls against a team of European amateur girls. Also, it is a two day event, while the Solheim Cup is a three-day event. The first PING Junior Solheim Cup was played in 2002. Since 2003, it is held every two years. The team USA has one win more than team Europe as the sixth event ended with a tie. The 2013 PING Junior Solheim Cup will be hosted by the Inverness Hotel & Golf Club in Denver, Colorado.