Hannah Holden has been to a Solheim Cup and a Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, so how do they compare?
Gleneagles has played host to two of the biggest events in sport in the last five years – the Ryder Cup and the Solheim Cup. But how do these two events compare? We found out.
Solheim Cup vs. Ryder Cup: Course setup
The most obvious thing to note is the course is playing shorter than when the men teed it up back here in 2014. But of course that is all for a justifiable reason.
The course actually plays very similar to how I remember from the Ryder Cup in terms of club selection into each hole. Such as the 9th, one of the signature holes on the course – a risk reward par-5 where danger lurks in the large water hazard short right of the green.
The choice is clear, lay-up or take on the risk. Jessica Korda showed us just what is possible here sticking her 3-wood approach in the middle of the green and draining it for eagle on Friday.
Solheim Cup vs. Ryder Cup: Grandstands
The grandstands seemed to line every hole on the course when the men walked the fairways competing in the Ryder Cup.
However, for the Solheim Cup there are only four holes on the entire course that feature any sort of grandstand.
The stand surrounding the first tee is spectacular and seats more than 2,000 fans, creating a dramatic start to the round with smoke guns and blaring music.
But after this point the stands couldn’t be more contrasting. Tiny structures holding a small amount of fans look out of proportion to the event that is unfolding around them.
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- Korda sisters make history… just about
- Largest Solheim Cup winning margins
Solheim Cup vs. Ryder Cup: Overall viewing
At the Ryder Cup, the practise days were spent sniffing out the best spots to watch from and see as much action as possible. When Friday morning came around we were at the park and ride at 5am and still only just managed to squeeze in to get a glimpse of the opening tee shot.
What followed was utter chaos. You ran to the spot you’d picked out the day before and waited, then waited some more before you eventually saw four groups play through. The action was great, drama immense but within the blink of an eye they were gone and you were left scrambling for a perch once again.
Friday at the Solheim could not be more different.
I arrived at the course just as the action was getting underway and set off following the last group out. I watched them play shot after shot for the entirety of the front-nine, without any real bother.
Yes, there were points where the crowd was thick and you didn’t get a full view but that wasn’t constant – I saw so much of the action.
There were holes on the course that I didn’t even catch a glimpse of in 2014 and it was thoroughly enjoyable being able to see the whole layout this time, never mind being able to follow the flow of a match for more than one or two holes.
Solheim Cup vs. Ryder Cup: The players
There is a much more friendly atmosphere surrounding the players and they seem more willing to interact.
On Friday afternoon while following Charley Hull and Azahara Munoz, Anna Nordqvist joined us in the crowd to support her team mates. In fact, when she tried to cross back inside the ropes a marshal rather embarrassingly tried to stop her passing, clearly not realising who she was.
On one occasion the players ended up queuing up mid-round to use the player toilets as the spectators had got in ahead of them! Can you imagine this happening at the Ryder Cup? I think not.
There’s one thing that is most certainly not different and that is the immense drama that builds and the passion these players show for their teams. I can’t wait for the rest of the weekend to unfold. Let’s go Europe!