Two legends of the game will square off against each other as captains of next year’s Ping Junior Solheim Cup. Renee Powell will captain the 12-player U.S. team at Sylvania Country Club in Toledo, Ohio, the AJGA announced on Monday. The LET previously announced that Annika Sorenstam will lead the Europeans.
“I can’t wait to see the growth from when I first meet each player to when the last ball is picked up from the last hole in the PING Junior Solheim Cup,” Powell said. “I’m excited to be able to see the excitement on [the girls’] faces when they are doing what the love and representing the United States. I am proud that my state of Ohio is the host state for both the PING Junior Solheim Cup and the Solheim Cup.”
Powell, 74, learned the game at Clearview Golf Club in East Canton, Ohio, a course her father built with his own hands after he returned from World War II and found it difficult to find a place that would allow him to play.
Powell forged her own trail as well, captaining both the Ohio and Ohio State University golf teams. She fought through racial prejudice, even death threats, as the second Black player to compete on the LPGA.
After retiring from the tour, Powell continued to grow the game as an ambassador, traveling to Africa more than two dozen times.
She returned to Clearview to continue her father’s legacy, running the only golf course in America that was designed, constructed and owned by a Black man. Her focus as head professional places an emphasis on growing the game among veterans, women and juniors. She was the first woman of color elected to membership in the PGA of America and was later named the first At-Large Director of its Board. In 2002, she was named the PGA’s First Lady of Golf.
Earlier this year, Powell was awarded the Golf Writers Association of America’s Charlie Bartlett Award, given to a playing professional for their unselfish contributions for the betterment of society. Last month she received the Donald Ross Award from the American Society of Golf Course Architects.
In 2015, Powell was one of two American women bestowed honorary membership into the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
“We’re honored Renee has accepted our offer to captain the U.S. PING Junior Solheim Cup team in 2021,” said John A. Solheim, PING Chairman & CEO. “She’s a true pioneer in the game of golf whose accomplishments speak for themselves and contributions to the sport around the world are long and ever-lasting. Her support of girl’s golf throughout her hall-of-fame career makes her the perfect choice for the captain’s role.”
Previous American Junior Solheim Cup players who have gone on to compete in the main event include Brittany Lang, Paula Creamer, Alison Lee, Brittany Lincicome, Morgan Pressel, Angel Yin and Lexi Thompson. Those from Team Europe include Carlota Ciganda, Georgia Hall, Caroline Hedwall, Charley Hull, Caroline Masson, Azahara Munoz, Anna Nordqvist, Florentyna Parker, Emily Kristine Pedersen, Beatriz Recari and Melissa Reid.
Former U.S. Junior Solheim Cup captains:
2019: Mary Bea Porter-King
2017: Alice Miller
2015: JoAnne Carner
2013: Kathy Whitworth
2011: Meg Mallon
2009: Nancy Lopez
2007: Donna Andrews
2005: Colleen Walker
2003: Val Skinner
2002: Sherri Steinhauer