Well, what am I going to do this weekend with no Solheim Cup or Ryder Cup to watch? I was glued, housework and general chores went completely by the wayside! If you’ve been in the same boat, wasn’t it worth it? To witness a European win at the Ryder Cup last weekend, and the fact that we’ve now got this cup and the Solheim Cup on home soil is absolutely brilliant.
Anyway, I’ve chatted enough about these two wonderful match-play events, but it is interesting to highlight what we have learned from watching the world’s best male and female players.
Jess Ratcliffe, who might be unbeknown to you, is a golfer who reduced her handicap from 34 to 9 in a year – that’s going some, as we all know how difficult this game is. This was a journey that began during Covid, so she’s only been playing a few years and therefore hasn’t experienced many live golf events.
I spoke to Jess not long after she’d attended the AIG Women’s Open in August, and she was inspired by Charley Hull and the way in which she attacks the ball, no questions asked, Charley wants that birdie! So much so, the day prior to our conversation, Jess had posted her first sub-80 round, and by the sound of it, left a number of shots out there. According to Jess, compared with previous rounds, the difference was that she threw caution to the wind and consistently went for her shots to give herself a chance of the best possible outcome.
Now, I’m not a single figure golfer like Jess and I’m certainly not a Charley Hull, so I haven’t got the length or ability to confidently play the same variety of shots, but I understand the thought process. Instead of playing cautiously in order to get your scorecard back on track, it’s probably far more fun and satisfying to relax and play as aggressively as you possibly can.
Jess also attended her first Solheim Cup and you’ll be interested to find out what she learned from this experience and how it will help to improve her game. Jess thought she would spend the majority of her time standing on a tee watching the players boom it down the fairway, but she was surprised how her focus changed to watching the incredible number of short game shots. You can read more here but what she noticed most was the players’ smooth tempo.
I need to remind myself about tempo – saying tick-tock as I swing the club back and through, or a few memorable words to a song, anything that stops me from chunking, or dare I say it, shanking the ball. We already know the importance of the short game because most of us can get the ball down the fairway in one way or another, but the crucial shots are those that help to eventually get the ball in the hole.
We should never lose sight of the passion we have for this game, even though it frustrates the hell out of us. Just look at the emotion we saw from Carlota Ciganda and Rory McIlroy to name just two, and what the Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup means to them. I’m not saying that you should shed a tear if you win a Club match, but be proud of what you achieve because you have earned it!