Journal Article

Women, war and sport: The battle of the 2019 Solheim Cup


The world of inter-national sport, defined as sport that involves athletes competing for ‘their’ country against athletes from another country (Gleaves and Llewellyn, 2014), is often imbued with notions of national identity and war, although some sports lend themselves more obviously than others to these concepts. For Liston and Kitching (2019, p. 6) however, the sport of golf is unaccustomed to the displays of nationalism that are more commonplace in more combative team sports. This is due to the lack of both direct competition formats and nation versus nation contests in golf, as well as the absence of the physical confrontation that characterises other sports. Golf is generally devoid of flags and nationalistic tendencies and is thus often considered relatively insignificant in inculcating national sentiments, with Steen (2015, p. 349) noting that golf is ‘lacking the passions, physical confrontation and tribal loyalties that underpin mass appeal’. Harris et al (2017) subsequently highlighted how, perhaps unsurprisingly, little research has considered the place of the nation in relation to golf, with professional golfers playing on global tours defined as ‘borderless athletes’ who transcend national, racial and ethnic borders, de facto sports citizens of the world (Chiba, Ebihara and Morino, 2001). Despite this, Bairner (2003) notes that the sport does have links to dentity politics, and there have been instances where professional golfers have taken on cultural significance and become viewed as embodiments of the nation (Kitching and Bowes, 2020; Liston and Kitching, 2019). This paper aims to investigate the print media’s role in connecting golf, this case, women’s, to national identity. More specifically, the paper examines the relationship between golf and national identity, using the 2019 Solheim Cup as a case study and drawing upon the notion of athletes as proxy warriors for their nation. 

Attached files


Bowes, Ali
Bairner, Alan
Whigham, Stuart
Kitching, Niamh

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Sport, Health Sciences and Social Work


Year of publication: 2020
Date of RADAR deposit: 2020-09-07

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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