Catching Up With 2024 USA Curtis Cup Captain Meghan Stasi

By David Shefter, USGA

| Mar 27, 2024 | Liberty Corner, N.J.

Catching Up With 2024 USA Curtis Cup Captain Meghan Stasi

Four-time U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur champion Meghan Stasi, 45, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., has been given the honor of captaining the 2024 USA Curtis Cup Team when it seeks to claim a third consecutive Match Aug. 30-Sept. 1 at Sunningdale Golf Club in England. Stasi represented the USA on the victorious 2008 Curtis Cup Team at St. Andrews (Old Course) in Scotland. Her four Women’s Mid-Am titles ties her with Ellen Port for the most in the championship’s history. Stasi also served as head coach of the Ole Miss women’s golf team for six seasons after playing four years at Tulane University in New Orleans. USGA Senior staff writer David Shefter caught up with Stasi about being the captain and the lead-up to three-day competition against Great Britain & Ireland.

How honored are you to be named captain?

Stasi: It is truly an honor to be the captain of the 2024 USA Curtis Cup Team. It’s been an incredible year since I was named captain and a thrilling build up to this moment ... more than anything, I'm just happy I can finally say, I'm captaining this year! The end of August is just a few short months away now. We have a lot of work to do but I'm extremely excited as I look forward to Sunningdale.

How much has the Curtis Cup meant to you?

Stasi: The day that I found out that I made the [2008] team was actually the day I met Stas (future husband Danny Stasi). I’ll never forget it. It was in January. Of course, you can’t tell anyone for a while [until the official announcement]. I was at Coral Ridge [Country Club competing] at the Doherty. The day that we won [the Curtis Cup in Scotland], that Sunday he proposed. He said if I didn’t say yes, he was going to push me in the [Swilken] Burn. I’m glad it all worked out.

After the back-to-back [U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur] wins [in 2006 and 2007] and then the Curtis Cup [in 2008 at St. Andrews], it changed my life. It was nothing that I really expected or dreamed of.

Will you take any of your coaching experience, especially evaluating players, from Ole Miss to captaining the Curtis Cup Team?

Stasi: I coached seven total [seasons] at Ole Miss. I would play competitively throughout the summer. It was a great way to recruit players. As a college coach, you could only talk to them for so many months of the year. Actually, by playing with them again was a huge benefit. But I have never had more fun watching golf. It’s really an honor to be able to talk to the [prospective Curtis Cup] players and their friends and their family. Everyone has just a great support system.

So much of being a captain for a Curtis Cup or Walker Cup is scouting players. How much have you been out on the road at events?

Stasi: I’ve been able to watch a decent amount of golf this past year. I’ve actually never had more fun watching golf. My own golf is on the backburner … and it’s all definitely been worth it, every second of it. This year I have a calendar that has a lot of events. Luckily, we like to plan ahead and I am trying to see as much golf as I can, based on some of the national tournaments and some collegiate events. It’s important to see all the girls. It’s been great to be able to play with some of the girls as well. I think that’s important. To see them in action and play alongside them is important for me. Watching is one thing, but to be able to compete with them has been beneficial as well. You get to know them on a personal level.

What events do you plan to attend?

Stasi: Probably about at least three collegiate events, not including like the SEC [Championship], which is in Florida this year. The ANWA (Augusta National Women’s Amateur in April). I don’t know the exact field yet. I’m sure most, if not all, the [prospective] players will be there. That’s an important week. Then NCAAs [in California in May]. I will also be at the [U.S.] Women’s Am [at Southern Hills Country Club in August] and a couple of other events throughout the summer.

Do you plan to be at the U.S. Women’s Open?

Stasi: I will be there for the Amateur Dinner on Monday night. Thank goodness I have [team manager] Liz [Fradkin]. She is keeping me in check for everything. She has been incredible. I can give her a call or a text and she gets right back to me, which is great.

With the Curtis Cup being at the end of the summer, there is always a potential for some player to turn pro after the NCAAs. Do you see a bunch of players sticking it out this year?

Stasi: There’s a lot of fifth-year COVID seniors. To have that seniority and to have that experience is very important for the team. Even the younger girls, they have played so much internationally and nationally, they are used to traveling and the high caliber of play. It’s not just local junior events anymore. They are ready to play. They just have to get their schedule [set], and it’s going to be tough for a few of them [to make the team]. We’ll be ready.

Given the strength of American amateur golf at the moment, how tough is it going to be to make the team?

Stasi: With only eight players … it’s not a lot. To make that team is just an incredible feat as it is. We’ll be very strong.

What was it like for you to attend the past couple of Curtis Cups, first in Wales and then at Merion Golf Club not far from your childhood home in Voorhees, N.J.?

Stasi: Every Curtis Cup is different, especially the last two. When [my husband] Stas and I showed up in Wales, we were just six Americans [in attendance due to COVID]. What a different feeling. Merion was the complete opposite. So many junior golfers in the Philadelphia came to see that. The support was amazing. The team was so personable, too. They can turn it on when they need to. But just to see the [young] kids and see their eyes light up when they get a little gift from the players … or a signed flag, hat or any memorabilia they can get their hands on. And the adults too. I am not going to lie the adults love it too.

Have you leaned on past captains for advice?

Stasi: Many of the past captain are a lot of friends I’ve competed against and known for a long time. I have spoken with them. I’ve had conversations with Mike McCoy (the last Walker Cup captain), as well. It’s nice to have that support. Every year is different. This is not about me. This is about the team and how can I create the best environment for them to represent the United States while also having a good time. Yes, it’s tough with the travel. It will be interesting process for the next few months. These girls are so solid, so good and so used to traveling. A lot of them have represented the U.S. internationally the past couple of years as well. I just want to be there for them and create a positive experience.

What do you know about Sunningdale?

Stasi: I’ve been fortunate to play there a few times. It’s a treat. It’s incredible. That time of year, the heather is in full bloom. Bright purple. Nothing that a lot of us have ever seen before. I can tell you one thing: You don’t want to be in it. Just like the gorse. It’s pretty but ... stay away.

Your husband, Danny, is also an avid golfer and always is there to support you. What’s this process been like for him?

Stasi: He’s excited about the halfway house [at Sunningdale]. The sausage rolls. Of course, it’s always about the food. We actually have a little local bar that is going to be our Team USA headquarters down the street from the front gate. We probably have about 100 friends and family that are planning to go. The number sounds a lot, but it’s true. We had a Team USA party that our friends threw [in December]. I think everyone that was there is going to the Curtis Cup, and they are all excited. You don’t get to do it very often. Most are going to make a nice trip out of this as well.

Your late father, Mike, was such an ardent supporter. He’s got to be smiling in heaven.

Stasi: I think he missed one college event in my four years [at Tulane]. It was the Hawaii tournament. Now that I think about it, I can’t believe he didn’t go to Hawaii … He caddied for all four of my U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur wins.

Sounds like you had some fun activities at the practice session in January at Seminole and Pine Tree in Florida?

Stasi: We had some great dinners at a couple of restaurants, and we took the players to the Shuck N’ Dive (our restaurant in Fort Lauderdale). Some of the local [south Florida] people attending the Curtis Cup were invited as were some past Curtis Cup players. We wanted them to meet the [prospective] team and show them off. They’ve got to be ready to meet and greet. That’s a big part of the Curtis Cup.

Anything you are most looking forward to in the lead-up to the Curtis Cup?

Stasi: Just a little bit everything. The whole process has just been very organized. I had an incredible experience at Peter Millar [looking at outfits]. Just being in meetings, helping to design the bags. You never know about the weather, so you have to be prepared for everything. But just being able to have time to spend with the team. There are so many different personalities. Everyone has such different lifestyles, but they all have one thing in common and that is the love for the game and representing the U.S. I want to share that experience with them, and [obviously] get the job done [on the golf course].

You obviously have a chance to win a third consecutive Match.

Stasi: That is the goal. We’re not backing down. We’ll be ready to go.