Silver Cup is amateur golf at finest
When it comes to women’s amateur golf in Nevada, the annual Nevada State Women’s Golf Association Silver Cup played among 20-player teams from the Northern Nevada Women’s Golf Association and the Women’s Southern Nevada Golf Association is as good as it gets.
The Silver Cup originated in 1993 to help heal a fracture between state representatives from the North and South, and was inspired by professional golf’s Ryder and Solheim cups. Many believed the matches would bring golfers from the opposite ends of the state closer together, while others thought the matches would only worsen the divide.
More than two decades later, the Silver Cup has proven successful, and earning a spot on the team is a goal for women amateurs throughout the state. The competition is spirited, and the camaraderie is appreciated by the competitors.
“I believe the history of the event is what makes it special,” multiple Southern Nevada player Ronda Henderson says. “It’s a fierce but friendly three days of match play golf. The Silver Cup is amateur golf at its finest, whether the matches are between two 15 handicappers or two single-digit handicappers. Each player is grinding it out, giving all they have, to win that point for their side.”
Southern Nevada founders Brenda Knott and Sue May worked with Pam Whalen from Northern Nevada to create the Silver Cup. The inaugural cup was hosted and won by the North. The Southern Nevada team hosted and won in year two.
“Players definitely feel a letdown if their team loses and perhaps they personally didn’t perform as well as they would have liked,” Henderson says. “But after it is all over, we pat the opponents on the back and call each other friends. I believe there is a sisterhood among the players who have competed on multiple Silver Cup teams. It is a wonderful shared experience of great and not so great golf shots, fun memories and laying your competitive heart on the line to get the win.”
The North won the 2019 Silver Cup to build a 15-11 overall advantage.
“It was a real team effort,” Northern Nevada captain Deb Schwoyer says. “They aren’t ‘I’…it was ‘us’, ‘we’, ‘the North’ or ‘We can do it.’ I didn’t have to say anything to them. They were all in it together. They hung in there and did a great job. They didn’t need me saying ‘you’ve got to win’, ‘you’ve got to win.’ They’ve played enough golf to know what they need to do.”