European Solheim Cup Vice Captain and Rolex Testimonee Anna Nordqvist talks about her eighth appearance and her love of the biennial event
How much are you looking forward to the Solheim Cup and how do you see the European team faring?
I haven’t been afraid to say throughout my career that the Solheim Cup is one of my favourite competitions to play in and the tournament that I probably love the most. There is just something about the atmosphere that you don’t get at other events. As well as playing, I have been assigned the vice-captaincy role this year which is exciting.
My good friend and fellow Rolex Testimonee Suzann Pettersen is the captain of the European team for 2023 and 2024, and I have always wanted to be a vice-captain under her leadership. We have had quite a few meetings over the last couple of months. It is fun to be a part of all the preparation for the competition in a different role.
During the last few editions of the Solheim Cup, I have been asked more questions and been slightly more involved in that side of things but this is a new experience for me. I am probably the oldest player on the team and I have seen how the team environment and side of things has evolved.
I would say that women’s golf has never been stronger than it is now and I think that we will be in Spain with the strongest team that we have ever had. It is going to be a nice problem to have trying to select the pairings because there are so many strong and talented young players.
Do you enjoy these leadership positions?
I feel like I have always been of the opinion that if there is any way that I can help – more than just playing – then I would be happy to do so. Suzann and the two vice-captains don’t play as much so I think that I am in a good position because I am playing with most of these women on the Ladies European Tour and the LPGA Tour, week in and week out. This allows me to be the voice between the players and the leadership team.
I have the dream of being a captain of the European team one day so I hope that I will get there. As a vice-captain for this year’s edition, I hope I can learn a bit more about myself and leadership more generally. I always try my best to be a good leader and don’t always feel like I need to be in a leadership role to do so as I am always trying my hardest to make a difference.
It is really cool to see the work that has been done by the European team and the wider Solheim Cup family – through its sponsors, partners and the Tour. We went to Finca Cortesin last year in August and it was great to get to know the team out there and appreciate the culture and how passionate the people are in Spain. It was important to arrive at the Solheim Cup prepared so that was a useful trip and a cool experience.
This year’s edition is being held at the Finca Cortesin in Casares, Andalusia, Spain. Have you had much experience playing this course before? If so, can you give us any insight into how the course might be set up, what the conditions might be like and the atmosphere at Solheim Cups?
I was there in August 2022, so I expect it to be warm. I think it also part of the country that is usually windy so there will likely be some wind. The golf course itself is fantastic. I think that the resort has been voted as one of the best in Europe and is very special. They don’t leave anything to chance there. It is very well prepared.
Some of the holes might be difficult for spectators to get to but lots of plans have gone into the grandstands and where to put people to give the fans the best possible experience. Knowing how passionate the people in Spain are and how much it means for them to finally host the Solheim Cup, it has been really cool to see how much they are embracing it.
You have played in the last seven editions of the Solheim Cup from 2009 to 2021 and have scored an impressive total of 15.5 points for Team Europe during that time. Can you describe the feeling of what it means to represent Team Europe?
A lot of people ask me what it is like to step up on that first tee box. The atmosphere and sense of occasion is something that you just can’t describe. I love it. I always think of those moments on the days when it is pouring outside, cold or windy and I don’t want to go to practice.
These are honestly the moments that I live for. I have had the honour of hitting the first tee shot at three Solheim Cups, going out in the first match. Those are some of the best tee shots that I have hit. There is just something about the Solheim Cup that I love. My family always come to support me and it is nice to see that all the people are there for you.
About Rolex Testimonees
Rolex Testimonees are part of the brand’s enduring relationship with the game which began almost 60 years ago, in 1967, with Arnold Palmer, joined by Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player. As part of its commitment to the game of golf that goes back almost 60 years, Rolex first partnered with the Solheim Cup in 1994, as a Global Partner and Official Timekeeper. The competition’s core qualities of teamwork, tradition and respect naturally align with the Swiss watchmaker’s own defining philosophy. This enduring partnership contributes to the development of the women’s game around the world. Rolex is part of the very fabric of golf and supports the game at all levels, including elite and legends of the game, Major championships – including all five women’s Majors – the foremost professional tours and the world’s leading team competitions, among them the Solheim Cup.