Captain Stacy Lewis Putting Plenty of Personal Touches on Solheim Cup Gear

The 2023 Solheim Cup at Finca Cortesin is finally here and both the European and United States teams are well underway in their preparations for the 18th playing of the biennial team event. As each squad took shape over the last few months, so did the finer details of the competition as Captain Lewis and Captain Pettersen had to narrow down their choices for player gifts, team uniforms and golf bag design. While the player gifts and team uniforms will obviously be different for the two teams, both will be carrying the same style of golf bag this year featuring a new, innovative technology provided by Dow called LuxSense™.

LuxSense™ Silicone Synthetic Leather is the world’s first silicone-based synthetic leather material that can be utilized in numerous ways. LuxSense™ is stain and UV resistant while having all of the characteristics of traditional leather. The product is highly customizable, making it a perfect choice from which to create the bags for the 2023 Solheim Cup, and LuxSense™ Silicone Leather is also abrasion and hydrolysis resistant, meaning that the product can withstand high humidity and high temperatures, both elements that could be a factor this week at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, Spain.

Because of Dow’s ability to create a carbon neutral material and their commitment to sustainability, each bag at the 2023 Solheim Cup is both plasticizer-free and animal-free, meaning that there are lower carbon emissions in the creation process than those that come with manufacturing genuine leather, in large part thanks to Dow’s innovative LuxSense™ technology.

But when it comes to the bag design, the captains can really showcase their individuality by seeding in small features that may not mean much to the naked eye, but that have a strong significance to their respective teams. Captain Lewis made it a point to individualize her team’s bags as much as possible this year, including all sorts of different designs as a nod to past Solheim Cup captains, players and the 13 Founders. Not everything was able to be included in the bag design, but the always creative Lewis worked in those details elsewhere, creating looks for the U.S. team that are entirely unique to the 2023 Solheim Cup.

Take a look at some of the finer details of the official bags and headwear of the U.S. Solheim Cup team. 

Yellow Duck 

If you knew Shirley Spork, you knew she loved ducks. Spork was one of the LPGA’s 13 Founders and was absolutely obsessed with the waterfowl, especially those of the yellow, rubber variety. The Solheim Cup was one of Spork’s favorite events of the year and one that she very much enjoyed up until her death in April 2022 so when Lewis decided that she wanted to put an icon on the bottom of her team’s bags, nothing made more sense than a rubber duck. 

“If you look on the bottom of the golf bags, there's a little rubber ducky on there, and that is for Shirley Spork,” explained Lewis. “Anybody that had watched the Solheim Cup in the last probably five or six (playings), you've seen Shirley on the first tee with her giant hat. This was her favorite event, and she passed away between (the 2021 Solheim Cup) and now and so wanted to just find a way to honor her.” 

62 Stars and 13 Stripes

The Solheim Cup began in 1990 as the brainchild of Karsten and Louise Solheim of PING, who wanted to put on an event for female professional golfers that was similar to the Ryder Cup. This year marks the 18th edition of the event and Captain Lewis wanted to make sure that her young team had a visual representation of the history they’d be a part of this week in Spain. 

“If you're going to win, you have to understand what you're becoming a part of, and this is a pretty exclusive group of women to have represent the United States,” Lewis said. “I just want to make sure they know what they're becoming a part of. On the golf bag itself, there are two pockets by the ball pockets. One is stars, one is stripes.  

“The stars, there are 62 stars on there because prior to this year, there have been 62 Americans who have represented the United States in the Solheim Cup. We're now up to 67 with our five rookies this year. I had the stats people at the LPGA try to find the points list and going back to 1990, how everyone qualified. The first Solheim Cup had eight players so numbers one through eight are your original eight on that 1990 team. That number is based on where they finished on the qualifying list. So like my number is 43 and it's my number forever. Nobody can take it. What we did is we put on their doors into their rooms at the hotel, it just has USA and their number. It’s your number forever. 

“Then on the opposite pocket are stripes and there are 13 Stripes because we've had 13 captains.” 


Lewis wanted to include the number 88 on the golf bags, but was unable to as they were already well into production at the time the decision was made, she did elect to feature 88 on all of the U.S. team’s headwear as a way to honor the late Kathy Whitworth who is the winningest professional golfer in history, capturing 88 titles on the LPGA Tour, and who served as the U.S. captain at the first playing of the Solheim Cup in 1990. Whitworth passed away on Christmas Eve last year at age 83. Her death was a surprise to many who had just seen the LPGA Tour legend a few months earlier at the 2022 Ascendant LPGA benefitting the Volunteers of America so Lewis, like she did with Spork, also wanted to recognize her contributions to the women’s game in a similar way.

“Kathy Whitworth also passed away pretty suddenly, and so I wanted to honor her as well. We put her 88 wins on our hats for all the players because she was our first U.S. Solheim Cup captain. Kathy was actually making plans to come in to try to be here. Just (wanted) to try to honor those women that paved the way for us and give us this opportunity to compete in event like this.”

10 Stars

The final tribute that Lewis worked into her team’s gear involves the U.S. team’s 10 Solheim Cup victories. The team hats feature a circle icon with a USA logo in the middle and five stars on the top and the bottom of that logo, representing America’s 10 wins in the event. While the other details are incredibly important and special to Lewis, this one might be a little bit more so because of who it was created by.

“I thought we always had to have the Solheim Cup logo on our hat, but they said no, you can put USA, you can do whatever you want. My brother-in-law has a graphic design company so I asked him to get creative for me. He came up with this logo on the hat for us and the 10 stars represent the 10 times that the U.S. has won the Solheim Cup. So that was kind of his thing.”