The enduring image of the 2019 Solheim Cup will be that of Suzann Pettersen, arms raised, screaming to the heavens after holing the most dramatic putt of her life to both clinch the trophy and simultaneously end her professional career.
And it is right that be the case, such were the final hour heroics of the Norwegian and her underdog teammates in snatching the Cup at the last conceivable moment.
But there was another image from the week which was equally powerful (though not as dramatic), equally inspirational though unlikely to be recognised as such.
At 8.10am on a chilly day two at Gleneagles, the first four competitors of the day posed for an official photograph.
Set to do battle in the morning foursomes were Morgan Pressel and Marina Alex representing the US and Anna Nordqvist and Anne Van Dam from Europe.
As with every group over the four days, the official photo was a simple affair. The players line up next to each other and flash a quick smile for the camera.
But just as a great action shot has the ability to capture a moment in time the way video never can, this particular photo portrayed the beauty and uniqueness of golf in a way words cannot hope to.
The image shows the Europeans – both of whom stand six feet tall – towering over their American opponents.
All four are smiling, Alex craning her neck upwards to look at Nordqvist as the pair appear to share some sort of private joke while Pressel looks on and Van Dam stares straight at the camera with a devilish grin on her face.
“What a magnificent and important advertisement for the democratic nature of the game and what a great message to send to youngsters the world over that, unlike most other sports, it’s not solely physical attributes that determine success in golf.”
But the importance of the photo is not so much in the smiles (though it is a nice moment) as in the obvious physical differences between the two sides.
In almost any other sport it would border on comical to think the two US players could compete with their European counterparts.
But in golf that’s not the case. In fact, not only were the Americans competitive – they won. After being four down through the first six holes.
What a magnificent and important advertisement for the democratic nature of the game and what a great message to send to youngsters the world over that, unlike most other sports, it’s not solely physical attributes that determine success in golf.
It matters not whether one is tall, short, rangy, slender, rotund, squat or any other pronoun you care to call on.
Lexi Thompson and Mo Martin are polar opposites in almost every way, from their difference in height (Thompson is 6 feet, Martin a full 12 inches shorter) to their style of play. But each has precisely one major on their resume.
In recent decades the focus at the top levels of the game has been predominantly on power, but golf will never be simply a contest of who hits it the farthest or who is the tallest or strongest.
The beauty of the game – indeed the very essence of it – is that it exercises mind and body, power and touch, in equal measure.
And that means there’s room for everyone.
Rod Morri is founder of the TalkinGolf Podcast Network, home of the State of the Game, iSeekGolf, TalkinGolf History and Feed The Ball podcasts.
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