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solheim cup format

Explaining the Solheim Cup format

Both the Solheim Cup and the Ryder Cup utilise unique match play formats that produce the height of excitement and drama…

 

The Solheim Cup has arrived at Finca Cortesin and Europe will be desperate to lift their third consecutive trophy against America.

Each pair and match-up will be the result of in-depth research and analysis from European captain Suzann Pettersen, USA captain Stacy Lewis and their vice-captains.

Nothing is left to chance, and each session’s format has a significant bearing on which players are sent out in which session. Does their scoring power suit a fourball pairing, or does their accuracy make them perfect for foursomes?

We take a look at the Solheim Cup format and break down what you’ll see on each day of action in Andalucia.

What is the format for the Solheim Cup?

There are 12 players on each side for Team Europe and Team USA and there are 28 points up for grabs across three days.

The format is match play and if you win a match, you win one point and if you halve a match, you earn half a point.

On day one (September 22) and day two (September 23) of the Solheim Cup, there will be two sessions. They will be divided into morning sessions of foursomes matches and afternoon sessions of fourball matches.

In fourballs, each player in each pair hits their own ball. To put it simply, the best score on each hole wins and if there is a half for the best score on a hole, it is tied.

Essentially, the pair in each match that wins the most holes wins the match.

solheim cup format

Foursomes is sometimes called alternate shot. One player in each pair tees off and their partner then hits the next shot, and so on.

The pairs alternate tee shots too, so one player tees off on the odd-numbered holes and the other tees off on the even-numbered holes.

On the third and final day of the Solheim Cup (September 24), the European team and the United States will face off across 12 singles matches – 12 matches using the match play format too.

The European Solheim Cup team are defending the trophy in Spain and they will be looking to get to 14.5 points to win the Solheim Cup again.

If the team score is 14-14 at the end of the week, Europe will retain the cup as the defending champion.

How often is the Solheim Cup played?

The Solheim Cup began in 1990 and was played in even-numbered years until 2002. It was played at Barseback Golf and Country Club in Sweden in 2003 and continued in odd-numbered years until 2023.

The next Solheim Cup will be held at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Virginia in 2024, followed by Bernardus Golf in the Netherlands in 2026.

Each tournament features stars from the LPGA Tour and the Ladies European Tour.

Read now: Solheim Cup 2023 tickets

solheim cup format

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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