I was glued to the Solheim Cup for three days: what a fabulous spectacle and what a fantastic result for Europe, led by the inimitable Catriona Matthew.

I am sure that everyone watching her will have noticed how calmly she led her team; how her quiet confidence seemed to transfer to her players. It was obvious from the post-match interviews that the players would, if asked, walk on hot coals for their captain!

Most golf TV spectators will have been surprised at the outcome of Nelly Korda’s attempt to sink an eagle putt; how the ball rested agonisingly above the hole. In an obvious bid to speed up play – the match in question had earlier been warned over pace – Europe’s Madelene Sagstrom stepped forward and tossed the ball to Korda, at the same time giving the putt for a birdie four to halve the hole.

Unfortunately, the American referee stepped in to say that because the ball had been picked up in less than 10 seconds after it had reached the rim of the hole, the hole would be awarded to the Americans.

What surprised me and many others, I suspect, is that the American players stood by without intervening to protest at the referee’s intervention.

This incident contrasts starkly with a beautiful and uplifting story recounted to me by Connor Wilson of Castle Park Golf Club.

Two years ago, at Leven Links Golf Club, a Scottish Area Men’s Team match was to be played between the hosts, Fife, and the visitors, the Lothians.

In the absence of a putting green, the visitors decided to have a few practice putts on the 18th green adjacent to the first tee.

A club official intervened and told the Lothians pair that this was against competition rules and they were to start one down and move onto the second tee. The Fife pair protested on behalf of the visitors but to no avail.

Then, they had a brilliant idea. They picked up their balls, moved onto the 18th green and started putting! The club official retreated red-faced into the clubhouse, leaving the teams to agree that they had halved the first hole!

Now that is what I call superb sportsmanship, exemplifying the famous quote by Grantland Rice, the American sports writer, who wrote in about 1910: “For when the One Great Scorer comes to mark against your name, he writes – not that you won or lost – but how you played the Game.”

Andrew Hamilton

Orchard House