Be sure to also read the first update: February 13, 2013
Life of a Solheim Cup Captain
May 7, 2013
It’s been a hectic few months since my last blog entry so I thought it was time to catch all of you up on what’s been going on recently. Hard to believe but the 2013 Solheim Cup is less than four months away and every day we are getting closer to that special week in Denver.
The biggest news of the last couple months was the announcement that Laura Diaz will be the second assistant captain for the U.S. Team. I wasn’t surprised by my pick of Laura but it seemed like everyone else was surprised by it. I guess I kept it under the vest really well because she had been on my short list for quite a while!
It was a busy week for me in Phoenix. Besides just announcing Laura as an assistant captain, we had to get 30 players to try on clothing because it’s really a wide open race after the top 5. It could be anybody making the team so we wanted to make sure we were ready for whoever makes the team. The week also allowed for some meetings with LPGA staff and perhaps most importantly, a chance for me to catch up with a few of the American players over dinner.
The one thing that I didn’t get to do much of in Phoenix was to watch any golf. With so many little administrative duties to take care of, the last thing I could do was to run out on the course and see a little bit of golf. We’ve gotten most of the nuts and bolts stuff out of the way now, so the goal when I’m on tournament site is to get a chance to watch some of the American players in action.
I got the opportunity to do just that recently at the LPGA LOTTE Championship in Hawaii. I’ve played a lot of tournaments in Hawaii and spent a lot of time at Ko Olina. I think Hawaii is the most beautiful place that we have and it’s one of my favorite places on the planet. So when I saw the tournament on the schedule and that it coincided with my 50th birthday, I thought it would be a great time to incorporate a little business and pleasure – watch a little golf and celebrate my birthday with many of my friends who are still on Tour.
On my way to Hawaii, I spent some time drafting letters to dignitaries, athletes, celebrities, past Solheim captains, Hall of Famers and Founders inviting them to the Solheim Cup. It’s not in my wheelhouse to write letters like that but I’ve already gotten two responses back and it’s energized me hearing from them. We also have been working on getting clips of celebrities and athletes wishing the team luck and we will be putting together team videos that include those. One of my jobs has also been to help organize the hotel since we’ll be taking over an entire hotel with the team – both teams, the families and staff are all in one hotel. I’ve had to learn a lot about the many little things that go into being a Solheim Cup captain. Dottie is pouring over stats for me and we’ve been finalizing some of the logistics in regards to team gifts, menus for the team and setting up practice rounds for the team. It’s a lot of moving parts but it’s been fun as well.
As we get closer to heading to Colorado Golf Club, I can’t help but to get excited about this year’s team. The past couple months have been terrific for American golf. There are some great young players who have been emerging and then I’ve got my solid base of veterans who are playing well. It’s really been a fun thing for me to watch.
The best part of being the Captain of the U.S. Solheim Cup Team has been interacting with the players. I loved being on Tour and this job has really kept me back involved with the players again. Being a part of the competitive process and watching the players try to get on the team has been a lot of fun. I just love the fact that this is an event that every single American wants to play in. They come up to me and say this is the ultimate event for me and it’s because they are representing their country. They don’t make a dime and they’re actually losing money because they are paying for their families and everyone to come in for the event. That’s how important it is to them and that’s what makes it so special. Just being a part of this event again and working with everyone at the Colorado Golf Club is exciting. And I am really looking forward to everything that is to come in the new few months!
All the Best,