Cheers to the Solheim Cup

By: Azucena Maldonado - Oct 18, 2023

A huge “¡Salud!” is in order for the 2023 Solheim Cup competition held at the Finca Cortesin GC in Andalucía, Spain last month. Sure, Team U.S.A. did not bring home the trophy, but we didn’t lose either. What? How is that possible? It was an historic Solheim Cup competition ending in the first-ever tie (14 - 14). After a nail-biting final day of singles matches, the Europeans came back, or rather, caught up, after not winning a single match on the first day of this three-day competition. So, in the end, the European team retained the Solheim Cup and celebrated like winners!

I remember it so vividly. By then, a group of our Latina Golfers Association members who made the 16+ hour trek to Costa del Sol in the Mediterranean of Espana from LAX were sitting at the “Solheim Cup Andalucía Plaza” sipping vino and cervezas while watching the final matches on the big screen. It was an unnerving ending to an exhilarating three days of amazing golf and atmosphere. Imagine a more vibrant WM Phoenix Open on every single hole. We were mostly surrounded by Europeans and when Spanish golfer, Carlotta Ciganda, secured the tying point, the crowd erupted in cries of Ole, Ole Ole. We looked at each other in total disbelief and exclaimed to everyone around us, “It was a tie, not a win.” Most looked at us sheepishly and replied, “Yeah, but we retain the cup.” Within minutes, the Plaza was transformed into a closing ceremony venue and the King of Spain was handing the Solheim Cup trophy to the European team.

It happened so fast and yet time stood still for us as we reflected on how special the week had been. Not only did we experience the most important team golf competition in the world for women, we did so in Spain! This journey took our Latina Golfers group to the roots of our heritage and culture and we took it all in. We toured historic places like Seville and Granada, we ate tapas and paella in the city centers of Malaga, Marbella and Estepona, we played golf and had fabulous spa treatments, visited the famous Mediterranean beaches of Costa del Sol, met new friends and some of my favorite moments were spent reuniting with amigas from the U.S.A.! My African American sisters in golf were there, Women’s Golf Day founder and ambassadors were there and so were LPGA legends and PGA Board members. We were embraced by women from all over the world. It was wonderful and we loved being hosted as Solheim Cup official ambassadors! The Latina Golfers Association was appointed the fist-ever ambassadors for the Solheim Cup soon after Spain was awarded the tournament. It was the trip of a lifetime! So, yes, a well-deserved “¡Salud!” is in order for the 2023 Solheim Cup, Alicia Garrido, the Executive Director of the tournament, and our host country, Spain! We’re already packing for the 2024 Solheim Cup in Gainesville, Va. Who’s coming with us?

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