Volume 1, Number 13 September 3, 2003
Pages 1, 2, 3

The more you think about it, the more exciting it gets.
"Kang. Pak. Park. Kim. Any questions?"

4. Changing both teams:
We toyed with this above in 1 and 2. But In all those cases we kept the Americans essentially the same. Now let's consider mixing the internationals into the American and Euro teams equally. I can think of a few ways to do this. But for the sake of argument, let's narrow it down to two options: Americas/Asia vs. Europe/Africa/Australia, or Americas/Australia vs. Eurasia/Africa. I personally prefer the latter, because then you get an American team where the primary language is English (yes, not in Latin America, but most of the players on the American team will be from the US, Canada or Australia). And the Aussies have more in common with the Americans than the Asians do. Plus, Asia and Europe are on the same land mass, so it makes sense they would be combined. This could result in a Seoulheim team like the following:

Eurasia/Africa: Annika, Se Ri, Mi Hyun, Grace Park, Hee-Won Han, Carin Koch, Catriona Matthew, plus five Captain's picks from the LPGA, JLPGA, KLPGA and LET tours (so Laura Davies, Akiko Fukushima, Candie Kung, Janice Moodie, Helen Alfredsson, Icher, Marti, Pettersen and whoever else you would want become available).

Australia/America: Juli Inkster, Karrie Webb, Laura Diaz, Rachel Teske, Cristie Kerr, Rosie Jones, Michele Redman, Kelly Robbins, plus four Captain's picks from the LPGA and any other international tour containing Aussies or Americans (possible picks: Lorie Kane, Lorena Ochoa, Beth Bauer, Meg Mallon, Natalie Gulbis, Shani Waugh, Michelle Ellis).

Are you ready for an Annika/Se Ri team?

Now this would be a fun matchup! Now you can send Pak/Kim and Annika/Koch out as two of your bestball teams. The American/Australians could counter with Webb/Teske or Inkster/Diaz. See how almost anyway you slice it, you would end up with good teams, instead of the one good player/one not so good player stuff you often end up with now? And just imagine if you will an Annika/Se Ri team against Inkster/Webb. No, that would be too exciting!

C'mon, make the Sisters happy!
Let's include them in Solheim!

The one question with these schemes is, how would you automatically qualify for the team? There is a cleanness to the idea that the LET finishes determine the Euro team, while the LPGA finishes determine the American team. But I would argue that that method is fundamentally flawed anyway, since so many of the best European players play full time on the LPGA and don't get credit for this. So I would institute a policy where points won in either laegue count the same for an overall total. If you are on another tour, such as the JLPGA, you don't get points, but the Captain still has the right to choose players from those tours if they want. This is actually superior to the mishmash method they use now to select teams, although it still has problems. Namely, the competition on the LPGA is fiercer, so even a great Euro player may not get as many top finishes there, and hence not as many points. And The Euros play fewer tournaments, so they have fewer chances to get points. So not a perfect solution, but still IMO better than the current one and workable for our purposes (the Captain's choices will hopefully balance out the inequities).

I sure hope that the LPGA and LET are looking at this issue closely. You can't have a premiere event in a sport where half the top players are not allowed to participate. A premiere event becomes one because of the quality of the competition, not the mere fact someone calls it premiere. With women's golf needing all the help in getting popularity it can muster, it makes no sense to squander so much of its talent, when it could be showcasing it to the benefit of all.