Sep. 12—LET'S GO, USA! The 2021 Solheim Cup internationally presented by PING, Marathon, and Rolex at Inverness Club was one big party all week as fans filled the links, grandstands and private hospitality areas to schmooze while watching the tournament and cheering for the USA team for which we are all so proud.
Was anyone working at their offices? Probably not. Many of the spectators were not golfers but they had fun. Of course, there were many foreigners there too, rooting for Team Europe. Toledo folks proudly came in full force, many of them volunteering to help make our city in the spotlight shine. The roaring crowds cheered with passion for their teams. It was like being at a football game, since it was so loud. People- watching was at a premium as USA fans made fashion statements in red, white and blue and stars and stripes. It was a see and be seen event. There were so many, many local community folks there, I can't begin to name them all.
The corporate suites, which hosted numerous businesses, were THE place to be when not on the links with fans. The 70,000-square-foot Meijer Pavilion set a new standard for future Solheims. Other hospitality areas were impressive, too, all with television screens tuned to the tournament ... and football games.
There was the Ohio Club, Mallon Village, Commissioners Club, PING Experience, Lopez Village, Rankin Village, Whitworth Village, Patriots Pavillion, Rolex Suite, Sheehan Village, Inkster Village, Global Partners Deck, and a few more including business hospitality areas in Inverness' Clubhouse. The Hylant suite was specially built on the roof of the Inverness Club, and wow, it was deluxe. Richard Hylant, Solheim 2021 general co-chairman, was busy entertaining his guests.
Charities had display areas: Area Office on Aging, the Sight Center, the Ability Center, MemoryLane and Kulture City. The merchandise tent was packed with fans buying Solheim logo shirts, caps, jackets, and more including a radio on a string to hear tournament updates.
Many stories were gathered along the links. I'm honored to have met Shirley Spork, the co-founder of the LPGA which was founded in 1950. Women and golf have come a long way!
And Elizabeth Emmert, a volunteer with her mom, Helen Emmert, was seen with longtime friend and sorority sister, Therese Hession, Ohio State University's women's golf coach. Therese played in the Jamie Farr Classic from the beginning, staying at Elizabeth's parents' home when in town and while in Toledo in 1991, she received the call from Ohio State University offering her the coach job.
The goal of the general co-chairmen and their committee was "to make this the best Solheim ever" and they did. Toledo has set new standards for future Solheim Cup tournaments, according to many folks who have been to other Solheims. Thanks go to the volunteers; local, national and international sponsors; staff, fans, and teams who all worked together. Special thanks go to Marathon, who helped get it started. It also helped to have had Mr. Hylant of Hylant with his connections, and Meg Ressner, formerly of Owens Corning, a true visionary.
The tournament, which was in the planning for six years, ended just one week ago, and Team USA was defeated, but Toledo prevailed and has bragging rights as a fine city in which to live.