Solheim Cup: Team USA told to cut the razzmatazz

    Story highlights

    • The 14th Solheim Cup starts in Germany on September 18
    • The biennial team battle pits Europe against the United States
    • European team are aiming to win three in a row for the first time

    (CNN)Cut out the rah-rah stuff.

    That's the message from United States Solheim Cup captain Juli Inkster to her players as they attempt to break European dominance in the team event.
      The Americans have lost the last two installments of the biennial women's golf contest that flares into life again in Germany on Friday.
      And whereas previous teams have become carried away with temporary tattoos, face paint or fancy hair ribbons there will be none of that on Inkster's watch.
      "Juli said 'No more of this rah-rah stuff,'" American Lizette Salas told reporters at the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club.
      "I was like, 'OK, we're not cheerleaders.' So, none of that face paint or none of those tattoos. It's definitely toned down quite a bit since the first Solheim I was at.
      "I think it's a lot of excess energy that's used on, 'Where do I put this tattoo?' or 'Does this ribbon match this outfit?' None of that.
      "We go out and handle our business and play the best golf that we can. I think it's working."
      Something had to give.
      After a run of three straight wins the U.S. team was defeated in Ireland in 2011 before suffering a thumping 18-10 defeat -- it's first on home soil -- last time round.
      It has arguably the bigger names in its ranks, and boasts 10 majors to Europe's four, but faces an uphill task to reclaim the cup on foreign soil.
      Two-time major champions Stacy Lewis thinks her team have matured.
      "I think everybody's grown up," Lewis said. "Hopefully, everybody is past all the tattoos and the face paint and all that.
      "Paula is still wearing her hair ribbons and all that, but it's just growing up a little bit and knowing that you don't need to go crazy and get the crowd going all the time.
      "We've come here with a mission. That's basically what it is."
      But will it work? Here is everything you need to know about the 14th installment of the Solheim Cup.

      What is it?

      The Solheim Cup is a team tournament contested between a team of 12 women golfers from Europe and 12 from the United States.
      It began in 1990 and this will be the 14th battle between the two great rivals with the U.S. on eight wins and Europe on six. It is hosted alternately.

      When and where is it?

      This year's installment will take place at the St. Leon-Rot Golf Club in Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
      Three days of team competition starts on Friday at 8am CET.

      What is the format?

      There are three days of competition, with five sessions of play and 28 points on offer.
      On the mornings of Friday and Saturday players from each side team up into four pairs and contest foursomes matches.
      Each pair play alternate shots with the same ball and the team with the best score wins the hole.
      The afternoon session on Friday and Saturday is when the fourballs matches are played.
      Players pair up again but play their individual balls. The best score from the pair counts on each hole and the team who records the lower score wins the hole.
      Sunday sees 12 one-on-one matches with the lowest score on each hole winning.
      Europe needs 14 points to retain the trophy, while the United States must reach 14 ½ to claim victory.

      Who are favorites?

      That depends on who you talk to.
      A look at the women's rankings shows the United States has six players in the top 25 compared to Europe's two. Its team also boasts 10 majors compared to Europe's four.
      But the U.S. team, alongside its male counterparts who contest the Ryder Cup, has had to field questions marks over its togetherness in recent years.
      After suffering three straight defeats between 2005 and 2009, Europe finally regained the trophy in Ireland four years ago.
      It followed that triumph up with a first ever victory on American soil in 2013 -- an emphatic scoreline of 18-10 the biggest winning margin since the current format was introduced in 1996.
      Both are keen to paint the other as favorites but with home advantage on its side, as well as its recent record, Europe probably edge it.

      Who are the major players?

      Europe will be spearheaded by two-time major winner Pettersen, a combative player from Norway, who will be competing in her eighth Solheim Cup.
      Speaking to CNN's Living Golf show she said: "The Solheim has been a defining point of my career.
      "I played my first in 2002 and I think then I realized I could take on the world stage. I felt like I had the guts to take it on in all matters.
      "I had great guidance from the players at the time and I've been fortunate enough to play alongside some of the greatest female golfers ever. It's just meant the world to me."
      Pettersen isn't the only seven-time Solheim Cup veteran on the team though, 2009 British Open winner Catriona Matthew, from Scotland, also has a wealth of experience to call on.
      At the opposite end of the spectrum is 19-year-old Charley Hull, who was the youngest player to compete in the Solheim Cup in 2013.
      Hull's enthusiasm is matched by fellow Englishwoman Melissa Reid, while Sweden's Anna Nordqvist is another major winner in the ranks.
      Seven of the U.S. team has a major title to their name. Lewis has two and is the highest ranked player in the field as the current world No. 3.
      Just behind her in the rankings is 20-year-old Lexi Thompson, the 2014 ANA Inspiration champion, who made her Solheim debut in 2013.
      Morgan Pressel and Paula Creamer, two big names on the LPGA Tour, each have a major championship to their name and four and five Solheim Cup appearances respectively.
      Cristie Kerr, a double major champion, will be participating in her eighth cup, while Michelle Wie has won the U.S. Open since she played in her third in 2013.

      Only 5 more days till @solheim_cup 🇺🇸💅🏼❤️💙

      A photo posted by Alison Lee (@thealisonlee) on

      Who is saying what?

      "The more you practice, the luckier you get. So I think we just practice a little bit more than the Americans." Pettersen, Europe team member and world No. 8.
      "I think it's like playing the 18th hole of a major over and over again." Lewis, U.S. team member and two-time major winner.
        "We're not going to underestimate them. We know that they're going to come out and play, especially with a captain like that." Germany's Caroline Masson.
        "We are definitively underdogs." Brittany Lang, U.S. team member and world No. 41.