One of the biggest sporting events you've probably never heard of will take place in the Denver metro area next month. The Solheim Cup will bring two dozen of the best players in women's professional golf to Parker.
We know. August in Colorado means the Broncos are back — and we're excited about that, too. But the NFL's regular season will still be weeks away during the Aug. 13-18 Solheim Cup. Take a timeout from the preseason, and turn your attention to the Colorado Golf Club.
That might mean ordering tickets for the event. Or it might mean just watching on TV. Either way, the event is worthy of acknowledging, for a number of reasons:
• The top international team competition in women's golf, the Solheim Cup will feature 12 players from the United States playing against 12 from Europe. (Think Ryder Cup, for those of you familiar with men's pro golf.) Even if you normally don't follow the women's game, or golf in general, we think you will be impressed by the quality of play. Sure, you'll see some precision pitches and putts, but also, with Colorado's elevation, you might be treated to some 300-yard drives.
• The event puts a spotlight on women's athletics. If you have a young daughter interested in sports, these talented women could serve as an inspiration for what can be achieved. At the same time, it highlights good sportsmanship — we're fairly certain you won't see any violent temper tantrums or hear talk of performance-enhancing drugs.
• The Solheim Cup will help elevate the Denver area's status on the global stage. Nothing wrong with letting people across the world know there is more to Colorado than skiing, beer and the Broncos.
• The event is expected to provide a boost for the area's economy. The 2009 Solheim Cup, hosted by a course in a Chicago suburb, reportedly generated a $19.4 million economic impact for the area. Officials here were told to expect a similar benefit. Hotels and restaurants in Denver, Douglas and Arapahoe counties should get a major boost. But we suspect that many visitors, who may be making their first trip to the Centennial State, will also venture west and take in the scenery — and patronize the businesses — of communities within a chip shot of the mountains.
The Solheim Cup also offers something else, something you wouldn't necessarily expect from a golf tournament: a fun atmosphere. Spectators will be singing and chanting, some dressed up in costumes, as they cheer for the Americans or Europeans.
Sounds like a good way for Broncos fans to get warmed up.