For the first time in history, The Solheim Cup will be visiting the Netherlands. The 3-day matchplay competition between a team of European players and a team consisting of players from the USA will be held at Bernardus Golf in Cromvoirt, which is located in the south of the Netherlands.
The Solheim Cup is a biennial, transatlantic team matchplay competition for women, featuring the 12 best European players and the 12 best players from the USA. The Solheim Cup is the women's equivalent of the Ryder Cup and it's named after the Norwegian-American golf club manufacturers Karsten and Louise Solheim, the founders of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation known for making PING golf equipment. They were the driving force behind the creation of the Solheim Cup.
The Solheim Cup consists of 3 days of competition. Days one and two comprise of a morning session of foursome matches (Each team plays one ball and the golfers play alternate shots) and an afternoon session of four-ball matches (each member of the two-player team plays her own ball) and on the third day, 12 singles matches are played.
The Solheim Cup has been played 17 times and team USA leads 10-7 overall. However, the last two editions were won by the Europeans. In 2019 they won by a 1-point difference when they beat the Americans by 14,4-13,5 at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland and in 2021 the Europeans retained the cup by beating USA 15-13 at Inverness Club in Ohio.
In 2026 the Solheim Cup will come to the Netherlands where the 24 players will have their match at Bernardus Golf. Bernardus has experience with hosting big tournaments.In 2021 and 2022 the Dutch Open - part of the DP World Tour - was hosted at Bernardus Golf.
Opened in September 2018, Bernardus Golf was designed by American architect Kyle Phillips. Philips was also responsible for the design of Kingsbarns, The Grove and Yas Links, among others, and worked on De Lage Vuursche and Hilversumsche Golf Club in the Netherlands.
Three flat cornfields were transformed into a landscape where Phillips built a beautiful moorland course. There are many beautifully constructed bunkers on the course and the tricky water hazards blend seamlessly into the background of dunes, heath and gorse.
Although the land where the course was built was as flat as a pancake when he first arrived there, Philips did his homework on the history of the region to make it into something special. Cromvoirt lies east of the Loonse and Drunense Dunes National Park, the "Brabant Sahara" known for its drifting sand. He found a gently rolling landscape there, with heather, gorse and pine - ideal to get inspiration from when drawing up plans for Bernardus.
With help from superintendent Niall Richardson - who was involved in the construction and maintenance of The Dutch for many years - Philips created a terrain that feels authentic and works very well for golf. There is still not much elevation change - that would have been at odds with the surroundings - but there are enough contours for varied and memorable holes.
In 2023 the Solheim Cup will be played at Finca Cortesin in Spain and in 2024 at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Virginia. For an overview of golf courses where the Solheim Cup has been played in the past,have a look at this article about the Best Solheim Cup venues.
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