When it comes to the Solheim Cup, Pam Wright has seen it, done it and got so many T-shirts there’s ­probably piles of them still untouched in cellophane wrappers up in the garret.

Based in Arizona but back in her native Aboyne for her annual summer trip – “or winter as a Scottish summer is also known” – Wright will join the masses heading to Gleneagles this week for the latest instalment of the biennial bout.

With upwards of 80,000 expected at the Perthshire resort, vast grandstands plonked here, there and everywhere and the PGA Centenary course echoing to patriotic bellowings of “Yuuuuuurup” that would give the most ardent Brexiteer the heebie-jeebies, the Solheim Cup has changed a bit since Wright played in the very first one at Lake Nona in Florida back in 1990.

“When you look at what the Solheim Cup has grown into now, it was fairly modest,” reflected Wright of an inaugural meeting which the US won 11½-4½.

“I think there were more European supporters than Americans. We thought they didn’t take it that seriously but we were deadly serious about it. It was a big deal for us.”

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It became an even bigger deal two years later at a dreich Dalmahoy. A star-studded American team boasted a combined 146 LPGA career titles and 21 majors while quotes attributed to the USA’s Beth Daniel – “you could put any one of us on the ­European team and make it better” – fanned the flames in the European camp. Well, perhaps not with everyone.

“I wasn’t aware of that at the time,” admitted Wright, who is the daughter of the late Aboyne pro Innes and the decorated former Scottish women’s champion and Curtis Cup player Janette. “I was focused on my own game. My priority was simply points.”

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Europe certainly made a point. The home side’s rousing 11½- 6½ win was an upset of considerable proportions and put the Solheim Cup firmly on the map.

“After the 1990 defeat, it was ­absolutely vital that we won the second one,” reflected Wright, who was the LPGA Tour’s rookie of the year in 1989. “

“We won at Dalmahoy and people sat up and took notice. It was game on after that and the Solheim Cup became very different in the eyes of the golfing world. It’s grown to be like the Ryder Cup and it now gets the credit it deserves.”

Wright would make her final ­playing appearance in 1994 and was a vice-captain at Loch Lomond in 2000 when Europe triumphed again on Scottish soil. In 2013, she was part of Lotta Neumann’s backroom team as an inspired Europe won for the first time on American territory.

“Being involved in the Solheim Cup, in whatever role, was the ­pinnacle for me,” added the 55-year-old. “It’s a greater thing than just playing for yourself.”

That one-for-all-and-all-for-one ethos will be very much in evidence this week as Catriona Matthew’s Europeans attempt to stop the USA’s bid for a third successive win.

“We need to nip the American run in the bud,” said Wright. “I’m ­optimistic. It’s well within their capabilities. I don’t see America as favourites at all.

“At Dalmahoy we were really raised up by the passion of the crowds. That was a huge help, even when it was cold and wet. These are things that could play into our hands again.”

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Immersed in golf from a young age, Wright knows where the game is going wrong in this crash, bang, wallop modern era. “It’s a busy, busy world and sadly golf is a ridiculously slow game, worse than watching paint dry,” she said.

“As far as growing the game is concerned we have to speed it up. And that starts at the top. You have

to penalise the pros. Until they speed up then nobody else will. The pros are the point of reference.”

As for the Solheim Cup? Well, it still stirs Wright’s spirits. “I’m hoping it can inspire a few more girls this week too,” she said.