In this editorial I just wanted to touch on a couple of trains of thought that I had looking back at the last week. There is a fair amount to talk about and I think that I’ll start with the obvious. The Solheim Cup.
The Solheim Cup is a biennial event that was founded in 1990. Although it doesn’t have the rich history of their male counterpart (Ryder Cup) the combination of the LPGA and the Ladies European Tour has an event that rarely fails to yield excitement. This year the event was held on the rich American farmland that is Iowa. The Des Moines Golf and Country Club served as the events host this year and as one might expect the home team had the support from their “Red, White and Blue” fans led by team captain Juli Inkster. Looking back at the event I think there are two stories that really sum up this edition of “The Solheim”. The first story was the fact that after Day Two the American squad led the European Squad (led by Annika Sorenstam) 10 1/2 to 5 1/2. In my opinion… a pretty sizeable lead heading into the Sunday Day Three Single’s Matches. On the final day the Americans only needed to win 3 1/2 points to retain the Cup. As we know… they would claim the Cup winning by a margin of 16 1/2 to 11 1/2. The highlight of the matches leads me to the second story of the Solheim Cup. The match played between Lexi Thompson and Anna Nordqvist. The latter definitely had a very strong Sunday and was playing some very inspired golf. Through four holes of golf Anna Nordqvist was 4UP on Thompson. But golf is a funny sport in that it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Thompson (Ranked #2 in the World) would play some golf that could be best described as “scintillating”. She would play -7 thru holes 10-18. When somebody is clicking like Lexi was all that you can do (if you’re Nordqvist) is tip your cap to your opponent and shake hands afterwards. It has been said that this match will most likely go down as one of the best in Solheim Cup history.
However, as exciting as that match was I have a thought… as I have about the Solheim Cup. Looking at the Official World Rankings the roster of the American squad had five players in the Top 25 in the world. The group led by #2 Thompson, #14 Cristie Kerr, #21 Danielle Kang and #25 Gerina Piller. In comparison the European squad sees their top player being #13 Anna Nordqvist. After her there is #20 Carlota Ciganda and #24 Suzann Pettersen. Strolling outside of the Top 25 there is a number of girls from the American side ranked higher than the European team. My point being that even though any team can win on “any given Sunday” on paper the American’s have a pretty big advantage. Remember I’m from Canada so I have no vested interest in the Solheim Cup other than simply being a fan of golf and hoping for good golf. It doesn’t matter to me who wins although I am Hungarian by ethnicity.
The reality is that women’s golf does not get the support that it rightfully deserves from sponsors and fans alike. I have stated this opinion before in the past and I will also hold this opinion until my last breath. Furthermore, the average golfer can lean a ton more from watching the ladies over the men. But if there is one thing that I would love to see it’s the development of another type of match where Team USA would play Team World much like the President’s Cup for the men. Perhaps an exhibition match like this would heavily favour Team World with the likes of Korea’s World #1 So Yeon Ryu, #4 Sung Hyun Park, #9 Inbee Park, New Zealand’s #5 Lydia Ko, China’s #6 Shanshan Feng and Canada’s #10 Brooke Henderson. A star-studded event like this held in Asia would be massive for growing golf and in particular women’s golf. The respective sanctioning bodies could potentially earn huge dollar signs through television royalties and endorsements. Especially in the Asian market. Whether it would fly in the U.S.A however is where this concept could be a bit of a mystery. Would American viewers tune in to watch a rout? Or would the same American viewers tune in to watch a true “David vs Goliath” scenario? Everybody loves an underdog… right?! Moving away from The Solheim Cup.
Recently, I decided that I wanted to try to develop more “audience participation”. So on Twitter (@UntilTheNextTee) I posted my first ever poll. After recent putting woes I had to ask myself. Is it my stroke? Is it my putter? Is it me? Or is everything fine and just keep on keeping on? My issue was that most of my putts missed either (A) lipped out or (B) just missed on the high side by less than an inch and 5″ past the cup. My frustration level got to the point where I would mutter curse words under my breath for missing a putt… in practice sessions. I would switch between different putters partially because of testing for an upcoming piece on Rosemark Grips and part of it because I thought maybe it was the putter. At any rate I finally came upon the conclusion that putts weren’t falling because of just “plain ole bad luck”. So I stayed the course and lo and behold putts are starting to drop. I want to thank everyone who voted for taking part and below is the actual poll with results.
My first poll. Golfers… you’re putting and you continue to miss putts to the point it’s now frustrating. Lipping out numerous. Do you…
23% Change your putter
42% Change your stroke or..
35% Nothing. It’s bad luck
The voting was close and 42% of the voters said that they would change their stroke. This means anything from a grip change to a change of technique. For example a stroke involving more hands for slower greens. Also receiving a vote was another choice… a little more creative and a reason that slipped my mind. Blaming the superintendent. I like that one!!!
Until The Next Tee!!