U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster knows how to have fun, but she isn’t a fan of some of the theatrics that have become a part of the biennial international competition.
In Colorado two years ago, Europe’s Suzann Pettersen made fun of the Americans’ affinity for painting their nails and faces in patriotic colors. She tweeted out an amusing photo of the Europeans sitting around together in various poses illustrating boredom.
“Waiting on Americans to get done taking pictures of their nail polish,” Pettersen tweeted with the photo.
That seemed to inspire the Americans to wave their painted nails in front of their faces as celebratory gestures during the week, though the Americans would never acknowledge it was a reaction to Pettersen’s tweet.
Of course, the Americans didn’t have a lot to celebrate in Colorado with Europe winning in a record 18-10 rout.
What does Inkster think of the competition’s extracurriculars?
“Face paint, the rah‑rah, I mean, I like a little rah‑rah,” she said. “It’s great, the teamsmanship, but I think sometimes it can go over the edge. I think we just need to play golf and maybe be a little more humble.”
Inkster is making a concerted effort to get the Americans to focus on the practices and habits that are part of their regular work weeks playing golf, right down to how they practice. She wants the focus on pure golf as much as possible.
“They've got to maybe dig a little deeper and maybe get rid some of the outside agencies,” Inkster said. “I'm trying to get them just to play golf like they play over here, as they tee it up every week and not worry about all the other little outside things that sometimes, with the Solheim team themes, they get involved with. So try to just kind of get it back to basics and we'll see how that works.”
Inkster says she’s looking for a “lunchbox” mentality to the Solheim Cup work week.