As the next edition of Women & Golf hits the shelves this week, here’s a sneak preview of Lewine Mair's interview with legend and Solheim Cup captain, Juli Inkster.
Juli Inkster is already a legend in the world of women’s golf and now she’s preparing for her third consecutive Solheim Cup captaincy of the US side ...
By Lewine Mair
At the end of October, Juli Inkster, who will captain the American Solheim Cup side at Gleneagles next September, visited the famous Scottish resort with Pat Hurst, a long time friend and one of her vice-captains.
Though she and Hurst did not play the match course, they took a close look at where the US team, and then the players’ families and friends, would all be staying, while they also got to grips with the whereabouts of their team room and the different practice facilities. Inkster liked what she was seeing - and not least because everything was at its autumnal best. So much so that you wondered how she and Hurst could have resisted fitting in a quick 18 holes.
"No time for that," laughed Juli, who will be serving as captain for the third time in a row while Catriona Matthew will be making her debut at the helm of the European team.
One of the first questions we put to the now 58-year-old American was whether or not she was in regular touch with Michelle Wie who, only a week before we met, had had an operation on what had been diagnosed as osteoarthritis in her right hand.
"Michelle," said Juli, "has got all winter to heal - and the hope is that she’ll be fit in time for the Solheim. She’s a great team player."
Apart from having the art of match play in her genes, Inkster has probably picked up as much as any American about the intricacies of fourballs and foursomes, what with one Curtis Cup under her belt and nine Solheims as a player.
"Foursomes, in particular, are foreign to my girls. We will be practising the format a lot over the practice days at Gleneagles. They require such a different mentality. You can either get off on the right foot or you can start treading on each other’s toes".
"It’s all a matter of getting comfortable, of not worrying as to what your partner is thinking if you hit a bad shot. The other thing you have to get across is that they could go four or five holes without bringing out one or other of their drivers or putters. Especially in the case of the putter, it’s not ideal to be asked to hole a five or six-footer for a first time when you’re already a third of the way round."
Image credit: Getty Images
This is just a snippet of Naga's full article in the latest issue of Women & Golf magazine. You can pick up Women & Golf, on sale from Friday 7 December, or click here to subscribe now to read the full feature and enjoy W&G delivered to your door!