The Solheim Cup begins Friday at Finca Cortesín in Southern Spain, where the 12 best European female golfers square off against the 12 finest American players.
This marks the first time since 2002 that the Solheim and Ryder Cups were contested in back-to-back weeks.
Yet, it should be played in back-to-back weeks every two years for the foreseeable future.
Why Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup should be played in successive weeks
It would be good for the game of golf.
Stacy Lewis, the captain of this year’s U.S. Solheim Cup team, agrees.
“I actually think for the good of the game… I think two weeks like this could be really cool if we could continue it for the future,” Lewis said Wednesday. “I actually really like them in the same year, if we can get some common ground and do it together.”
Golf’s organizing bodies have talked about ‘growing the game’ repeatedly on the women’s side for years.
Having the Ryder Cup following the Solheim Cup would accomplish just that.
Undoubtedly, the Ryder Cup is one of the most beloved tournaments in sports. Golfers play for much more than just themselves.
They play for each other.
They play for the fans.
They play for their country.
The same mantra applies to the Solheim Cup.
“The Solheim Cups have been my absolute favorite weeks on tour and this week has even been so much more special,” said Natalie Gulbis, one of the vice-captains for the American side. “The players are incredible, and our captain and my fellow captains have been such a pleasure to work with.”
There is immense passion for this competition on the women’s side. That love for the Solheim Cup will be exemplified further in 2023 because of the Ryder Cup that follows.
Everyone in golf has talked about the Ryder Cup for months, mainly because of how LIV Golf will impact the biennial competition.
The 2023 Ryder Cup very well could be the most anticipated edition in its illustrious history, which only helps those playing in the Solheim Cup this week.
Golf fans will get a sense of the monumental competition that exists between the U.S. and Europe by tuning into the 2023 Solheim Cup. Plus, it will help provide perspective on the women’s game.
However, the powers that be have decided that the Solheim Cup will return in 2024, not 2025, which is when the next Ryder Cup is scheduled.
Tournament organizers wanted to schedule the Solheim and Ryder Cups in opposite years, hence the change. Interestingly, this move seems contrary to helping grow the women’s game.
Alas, next year’s Solheim Cup will be at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Northern Virginia, whereas the 2025 Ryder Cup will be at Bethpage Black on Long Island.
Unforeseen circumstances forced these initial modifications to the schedule. The 2002 competitions had a similar fate.
In 2001, the U.S. and European teams were preparing to play in the Ryder Cup at The Belfry in England.
Then Sept. 11 happened, and the governing bodies rightfully postponed the Ryder Cup to September 2002.
19 years later, in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic raging, organizers postponed the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits to September 2021.
Two years ago, the Solheim Cup was contested in early September, while the Ryder Cup took place at the end of the month.
This year, they take place in consecutive weeks, and that should remain the case forever.
Use the Ryder Cup to help the Solheim Cup and give the best female players the platform they deserve to shine on a global stage.
It is an easy decision to make.