Jul. 28—The first round of the Solheim Cup is 37 days away, but don't mistake the countdown for meaning the hard work is over.
Preparations during the stretch run are underway and in overdrive at Inverness Club.
Bleachers, suites, and hospitality tents are being constructed all over the golf course, including the Meijer Pavilion, a 72,000-square-foot behemoth that looks more like an Amazon warehouse than a grandstand.
"It's just monstrous," Solheim Cup tournament director Becky Newell said. "Every day it's something new."
The biggest push is for volunteers. The 2013 Solheim Cup in Colorado had 2,000 and the 2017 edition in Iowa had 1,900. Organizers want at least 1,800 volunteers at Inverness, and they will be accepting people until the tournament begins.
Transportation and merchandise are the biggest areas of need. Uniform orders have already been placed, with Aug. 19 serving as the first training session.
"There's really no formula or recipe to it," Newell said. "It's getting the word out to the community. I know a lot of people were hesitant because it costs $175, but when I looked back at the [U.S. Senior] Open in 2011, it was $165. Plus, in the package, there are two different tickets, and if you were to buy those a la carte online they are over $500."
Volunteers receive a smorgasbord of Solheim Cup-branded goodies — a credential that allows tournament access Tuesday through Sunday, one practice round ticket, free parking, a Solheim Cup jacket, polo shirt, hat, bag, water bottle, and commemorative pin, access to the volunteer hospitality tent with food and water, and an invitation to the volunteer party.
"The biggest thing, too, is making sure the community knows to purchase their tickets," Newell said. "We hear constantly in meetings, 'Oh, Toledoans wait till the last minute to purchase tickets.'"
Anyone who arrives at Detroit Metro Airport between now and Labor Day will encounter a banner welcoming them to the Solheim Cup. Videoboards in the North and McNamara terminals promote the event and have ticket information.
And if they're attending the Solheim Cup, they will see some familiar faces. On Sept. 2, the inaugural BMW Celebrity Match will feature, among others, three-time U.S. Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster, six-time U.S. Solheim Cup member Morgan Pressel, Grammy award-winning artist Darius Rucker, and former NFL defensive lineman and ESPN personality Mike Golic.
"The Solheim Cup is a prestigious event that I always enjoy watching as a fan of great golf," Rucker said. "I'm honored to be on the same course as these talented players and can't wait for some friendly competition in the celebrity match."
Teams will tee off No. 10 and play a scramble format. Additional participants will be announced in the coming weeks.
A variety of ticket options are available at www.solheimcupusa.com.
"We are excited to be able to bring the BMW Celebrity Match at the Solheim Cup to life during event week," Newell said. "The match was designed with fans in mind as a way to elevate the experience for those attending the Solheim Cup, and we're looking forward to watching these players try their hand at Inverness Club as a kickoff to one of women's golf's most distinguished team events."
First Published July 28, 2021, 12:17pm