Mel Reid was just 13 when the Solheim Cup was last played in Scotland in 2000.

“I remember the Americans making Annika [Sorenstam] replay a shot,” recalled Reid of a heated, acrimonious episode at Loch Lomond which led to tears and tantrums as the US tried to toss a star-spangled spanner into the European works.

It didn’t work, of course. Despite the kerfuffle – Sorenstam had played out of turn and chipped-in but the by-the-book US response was deemed mean-spirited – Europe went on to claim the spoils in a weather-delayed contest that was wetter than the Loch itself.

“I had just started to play golf then,” added Reid. Watching that petty, finger-wagging fankle unfold could have put her off golf for life. Thankfully it didn’t.

Reid would go on to play in three Solheim Cups and her passionate, feisty displays in the tempestuous battlegrounds of team golf led to so much adrenaline-charged fist pumping, she just about left dents in the very air those fists were pumping.


With the Solheim Cup returning to Scottish soil next month at Glen-eagles, Reid will be there too, just not in the capacity she would want. While being asked to be a vice-captain by European skipper Catriona Matthew was accepted with relish, nothing beats playing.

“I’m gutted not to be playing,” said the six-time Ladies European Tour winner. “It was a hard phone call to listen to but when Beanie [Matthew] said ‘we’d love you to be a vice-captain’ I wasn’t going to turn that one down. It’s a slightly different role but I’m proud to still be part of this team and proud too that they value me to be part of it. I’m going to take it all very seriously.

“The last time [as a player in 2017] I took on a slightly different role and my personality was more dominant compared to previous years and I looked after the rookies a little bit and that could be my role again.

“I have grown up in team sports [Reid also played football]. I’ve got that in my armoury and I feel like I’m quite good at bringing people together. One of my main things is making the rookies feel very comfortable. I think I’ve got a relatively strong personality.”

Her strength of character has been demonstrated plenty of times down the seasons. Seven years ago, Reid’s mother, Joy, was killed in a car crash en route to watching her daughter play an event in Germany.

A month later, Reid won on the Ladies European Tour in Prague. This year, Reid, who had reached “a point in my life where I feel like my true, authentic self”, came out as gay.

READ MORE: Suzann Pettersen gets Solheim Cup wild card

“It will affect me for my whole life,” she said of the death of her mother. “It changed me as a person. Us golfers are a bit egotistical whereas that made me the person my mum always knew I was.”

Reid, who was third in this year’s Women’s PGA Championship, may have missed out on a wild card for the Scottish showpiece but she has no qualms over a captain’s pick being afforded to the lightly-raced Suzann Pettersen.

The experienced and fiercely competitive Norwegian, with eight previous cup campaigns on her cv, has played just two events since 2017 having taken time off to have a baby.

Pettersen’s selection may have raised a few eyebrows but Reid is not concerned in the slightest.

“No fears,” the 31-year-old from Derby said. “Suzann will work her a**e off to be honest and she’ll be ready.

“She’s one of the most mentally strong players I have ever met and had the privilege to play with. If I was the captain I would have picked her.”