I love golf. I love women’s professional golf. Yes, the women are pretty but more importantly they let themselves be human beings on the course. Many of them smile, celebrate and interact with the fans.
Last week I learned of an event that started in 2014 and is played every two years: The UL International Crown. Women pros have a world ranking system. In July, the four best female golfers from each of the best eight countries will compete against each other near Chicago. If the Crown was held today, the countries would be South Korea, United States, Japan, Taiwan, England, Sweden, Thailand and Australia.
There’s never been a competition like this in professional golf, where you get to represent your homeland. In the men’s game, there’s the Ryder Cup every two years in which teams from the United States and Europe face off. In the alternate years, the President’s Cup pits the US golfers against “International” pros, who come from countries outside of Europe. But apart from the Americans, you don’t hold the banner of your own land.
I read about the inaugural edition of the Crown, which was held in Maryland in 2014. On the first day, on the first tee, the four Australian golfers stood next to the team from South Korea, and the two national anthems were played. Soon thereafter, competitors from Thailand and Spain heard their own beautiful music.
Karrie Webb from Australia sang “Advance Australia Fair”. Good for her. In a foreign country, surrounded by hundreds of fans, and by no means a professional musician. It was expression, not performance.
Belen Mozo didn’t sing the Spanish national anthem. She cried. I saw the video. How lovely.
During the competition, flags were waved, cheers were cheered, golfing compatriots were hugged, smiles were beamed, more tears were shed. The videos blew me away.
I decided last night to be a part of this in 2016. So I’m going to drive from Union, Ontario to Chicago (about eight hours) on July 20. I’m staying in the Super 8 Motel in Gurnee, Illinois for five nights. And I’m going to be walking the golf course with the competitors for four days.
Bring on the joy. Bring on the anguish. Bring on the music.