Twenty-four of the best golfers on the planet have arrived in the south of Spain for the 2023 Solheim Cup. The forecast is perfect and the course immaculate. Just one hiccup: only 23 sets of clubs made the full trip.
Danielle Kang’s clubs are somewhere…we just don’t know exactly where. She last saw them in Vegas, where she lives, having checked them for her travel to Málaga. She knows they made it to the Netherlands, at least, having tracked them to the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam.
Unfortunately, that’s the last known location of the clubs she desperately needs to (1) Practice and stay in form this week, and (2) Try to help the U.S. win back the Solheim Cup for the first time in six years. Kang took to social media to ask for help.
“Hi,” she wrote on Monday, “I need everyone’s help again. My captain and the entire US team has been on this but someone PLEASE put my GOLF bag on the next flight out of AMSTERDAM to MALAGA… it’s missed every flight it could’ve been on today…”
If there was any consolation to this dilemma, it’s that only 13 of Kang’s clubs were lost. The 14th — and perhaps the most important, her putter — made it to Spain, as it travels on its own, in a special case. You wouldn’t be confusing this luggage with any others at the gate. It’s a hot pink rifle case designed to keep her Scotty Cameron in perfect condition.
“My putter is a different model, so we don’t have the bending machine for it, and it bends a lot during travel, so I put it in a separate case to travel with because I don’t have the means to get my putter checked every week. And, yes, the clubs do get bent on the plane and, yes, they matter, to all the people wondering.”
Kang’s putter is made from German Stainless Steel, a relatively soft material that can get damaged more easily than other putter materials, so it was suggested to her that she use a special traveling case. According to Brad Cloke, a Scotty Cameron Tour rep, Patrick Cantlay does the same thing with his putters.
So, at the very least Kang has been able to learn the course through her putter these first few days, which probably matters quite a lot. She ranks as one of the top 30 putters on the LPGA Tour. But as for those other 13 clubs she needs, Kang explains the ordeal to the press Tuesday afternoon in Spain.
“It’s been an adventure,” Kang said. “If it wasn’t a dramatic entrance, it wouldn’t be my life, so it’s okay. It’s all good. My captain, Stacy [Lewis], has been absolutely incredible. The entire U.S. team has been helping me. Everyone’s on top of it. They have been tracking my bag to Vegas to Amsterdam to my sponsor Titleist is making up a second set. That’s flying in temporarily tonight, and then Ping has made me a temporary set today that I got to play with, so we can at least test out the golf course. It is what it is. You just kind of roll with the punches. It’s life, it’s golf, you know, it’s okay.“
This isn’t Kang’s first rodeo. Perhaps that’s why she’s remained so calm about it all, and can say, “It’s life, it’s golf, you know, it’s okay.” Ping being major sponsors of the Solheim Cup, the club company was able to get Kang a full set of clubs to play full shots with and learn the movement of Finca Cortesin. And from the sound of it, a newly-made set is being sent expeditiously by Titleist.
“The other 13 are coming,” Kang said. “It’s coming. We have faith. Stacy is on it. I mean, she’s putting out fires, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one causing fire right now.”