Are Solheim Cup Players Paid?

The biennial matchplay contest is one of the biggest events in the women's golfing calendar but you might be surprised by the prize purse

Lexi Thompson waves to the crowd at the 2021 Solheim Cup
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The Solheim Cup is one of the biggest contests in golf, a sell-out matchplay spectacle, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that the tournament would offer a sizeable purse for the professionals taking part.

Yet in an era where golfers are earning unprecedented amounts of money for playing the sport professionally you might be surprised to read that there is no money changing hands for participating in the Solheim Cup. No renumeration paid. 

Instead, players are simply competing for their country, continent and sporting pride.

Ask any one of the players selected to represent Europe or the USA what it means to them and they’ll tell you that they play for the sheer love of the competition and the personal pride it brings to be able to represent their nation.

This is also the case for the men’s equivalent, the Ryder Cup. There is no prize money for the winning or losing team, or the player that gets the most points or anything like that.

Solheim Cup captain and vice

European captain Suzann Pettersen with vice captains Anna Nordqvist, Caroline Martens and Laura Davies 

(Image credit: Solheim Cup)

That’s not to say that Solheim Cup players aren’t looked after like royalty for the week. They usually arrive via a team private jet, have chauffeur driven vehicles to whisk them to the venue, a lavish hotel to stay in and wonderful meals.

Sponsors love the Solheim Cup because it is one of the few weeks when no player can have a brand allegiance, they all have to wear the same clothing so that they look super smart and united in their team uniform. 

Ping Collection Solheim Cup bag

(Image credit: Ping)

The Solheim Cup captain’s can also choose to treat their team to little personal gifts. There have been a few aptly chosen gifts over the years but the one we love was from back in 2015, when the United States’ team arrived at St. Leon-Rot Golf Club in Germany on a Monday to a team room laden with lunch boxes! Captain Juli Inkster had been saying to the press in the run-up to the tournament that she wanted her American team to take their lunch boxes to the Solheim Cup, in other words adopt a blue-collar, workman-like approach to winning the Cup back. So she decided that the most appropriate gift she could give each team member was indeed a lunchbox, which was waiting for them in the team room.

The USA team lunchbox gift

(Image credit: Solheim Cup)
Carly Frost
Golf Monthly Contributor

Carly Frost is one of the golf industry’s best-known female writers, having worked for golf magazines for over 20 years. As a consistent three-handicapper who plays competitive club golf at Parkstone and the Isle of Purbeck courses in Dorset every week, Carly is well-versed in what lady golfers love. Her passion for golf and skill at writing combine to give her an unbeatable insight into the ladies game.  

Carly’s role at Golf Monthly is to help deliver thorough and accurate ladies equipment reviews, buying advice and comparisons to help you find exactly what you are looking for. So whether it’s the latest driver, set of irons, golf ball, pair of shoes or even an outfit, Carly will help you decide what to buy. Over the years Carly has been fortunate to play some of the greatest courses in the world. Her view ‘from the ladies tee’ is invaluable. She ranks Sea Island, Georgia, USA, where she met her husband, world-renowned golf coach Dan Frost, among her favourite golf resorts. Their aptly-named eight-year-old son Hogan is already hitting the ball as far as Mum and will undoubtedly be a name to watch out for in the future. Carly is a keen competitor and her list of golfing achievements are vast. She is a former winner of the South West of England Ladies Intermediate Championship, a three-time winner of the European Media Masters and she once beat an entire start-sheet of men to the title of Times Corporate World Golf Champion. She has played for both the Dorset and Surrey County Ladies first teams and is known for her excellent track record at matchplay.

Carly holds the ladies course record (68) at her home club Parkstone and her lowest competition round (seven-under-par 65) was carded in the pro-am of the Irish Ladies Open at Killeen Castle, playing alongside Solheim Cup superstar Anna Nordqvist. Although her current handicap index has crept up to 3.7 since Covid she has her sights firmly set on achieving that elusive scratch handicap and hopefully playing for her country when she’s 50.

Carly’s current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Callaway Epic Max, 10.5° 

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM2, 15° 

Hybrids: Titleist TS2, 19°, 21°, 24° 

Irons: Mizuno JPX900, 5-PW 

Wedges: Cleveland RTX, 52°, 56° and 58° 

Putter: Scotty Cameron Futura X5

Ball: 2021 Callaway Ladies SuperSoft