What Is The Solheim Cup? [2023]

As the 2023 Solheim Cup approaches, we decided to take a look at what is the Solheim Cup and how does it work.

What Is Solheim Cup?

What Is Solheim Cup?

What Is The Solheim Cup?

The Solheim Cup is a prestigious golf event for professional women golfers contested between European players and American players.

The huge event, which is modelled on the equivalent men’s event, the Ryder Cup, sees the best players from the LPGA Tour and the LET Tour (Ladies European Tour) go head to head in a match-play setting.

The first Solheim Cup took place in 1990 at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club, named after a famous golf club manufacturer and saw Team USA win convincingly.

Since the inaugural cup, the event has taken place every couple of years, although the Solheim Cup switched to odd-numbered years beginning in 2003 following the 2001 terror attacks, but will return to even-numbered years from 2024.

Just like the Ryder Cup, each event alternates between a golf course in Europe and America and has included the Inverness Club and Gleneagles as previous venues.

It’s one of the biggest team golf events in the sport which attracts a huge number of fans from all over the world to watch, and although the players don’t earn anything, the competition is intense and fought till the end.

Since it began in 1990, the Solheim Cup has done a lot to grow the women’s game, showcasing the incredible talent on display and elevating the sport to a global stage.

It’s a competition that brings together two big rivals, but going into the 2023 match, the United States leads 10 wins to Europe’s seven.

Solheim Cup

How Does The Solheim Cup Work?

The Solheim Cup works the same as the Ryder Cup format and is spread across three days of match-play competition.

Each team has 12 players, with a mixture of automatic qualifiers alongside the captain’s picks. Players qualify based on how they’ve performed throughout the previous two seasons and the remaining places are left for the team captains to choose.

The Solheim Cup starts on a Friday with four foursomes (alternate shot) matches and then four fourball matches. Not all players will take part in the sessions.

Day two follows the same format and the final day is 12 singles matches with every player competing.

Solheim Cup Format

Each match is played in match play format, competing to win holes. The team or player who wins the most holes will win the match and earn a point for their team.

If matches end in a halve, with neither team winning more holes than the other, the point will be shared, with 0.5 points going to each team.

Ultimately, the winning team is the one that wins the most matches and earns the highest number of points.

A total of 28 matches are played with 28 points on offer. The first team to reach 14.5 points will be crowned Solheim Cup champions.

In the event of the match ending at 14 points each, the team that won the previous Solheim Cup will retain the trophy.

The Solheim Cup format offers incredible drama and is one of my favourite events to watch. Just like the Ryder Cup, the team aspect brings a different style of golf to what we see week in and week out on the LPGA and LET Tours.

Final Thoughts

The 2023 Solheim Cup is a must-watch event for any golf fan.

Three days of intense competition in Spain’s Costa Del Sol, with the best players in the world competing for the sport’s biggest team prize.


Is the Solheim Cup like the Ryder Cup?

Yes, the Solheim Cup is modelled on the Ryder Cup, with the same format and team composition.

How many points do you need to win the Solheim Cup?

The Solheim Cup is won when a team reaches 14.5 points as that score cannot be caught by the opposing team. If the result finishes at 14 all, the previous winners will retain the trophy.

What’s the format for the Solheim Cup?

The Solheim Cup consists of two foursomes sessions and two fourball sessions on the first two days. Then the final day consists of 12 singles matches where every player plays a match.

Is the Solheim Cup every two years?

Yes, the Solheim Cup takes place every other year, with the location alternating between Europe and the USA.

How long does the Solheim Cup last?

The Solheim Cup is three days long and consists of five playing sessions, just like the Ryder Cup.

What is the Solheim Cup equivalent to?

The Solheim Cup is equivalent to the Ryder Cup in the men’s game. It follows the same format and is played in the same spirit as the Ryder Cup.

Is the Solheim Cup every two years?

Yes, the Solheim Cup takes place every two years, with the venue alternating between a golf course in Europe and a course in the USA.

Ed Welton

Founder, Editor

Ed is the founder and editor at EEE Golf. He’s been playing golf for over 20 years, competing in many top amateur events. He’s played courses all over the world and played with some of the best players in the game. His aim is to help educate people about the game of golf and give insights into the sport he loves most.

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