AS TURKEY was confirmed to have dropped out of the running for the 2022 Ryder Cup, an invitation has been opened to Scottish golf clubs to be a potential host for the Solheim Cup three years earlier.
While a decision has still to be made about a formal bid for the 2019 clash between the women professionals of Europe and the United States, VisitScotland has now followed up its attendance at a recent bidding seminar by trying to find out what venues would be interested in staging the event.
The strict criteria include a championship-standard course that is available for “exclusive use for 10 days” as well as as the venue being able to handle “at least 30,000 spectators per day”.
“We are currently undertaking a period of due diligence before making a decision as to whether to submit a formal bid to host The 2019 Solheim Cup,” said VisitScotland’s director of events, Paul Bush.
“In the meantime we are also keen to identify potential suitable venues and look forward to receiving interest from those who feel they can meet the staging requirements of a major international sporting event.”
Dalmahoy, in 1992, and Loch Lomond, eight years later, have both staged the biennial event and it may be appealing for either of those venues to put their hats in the ring again.
On the back of the immense success of last year’s Ryder Cup, Gleneagles will surely be interested in hosting one of golf’s top team events again, while the likes of Carnoustie, Kingsbarns, Castle Stuart, Nairn and, perhaps, St Andrews could be others in the frame.
Turnberry, now under the ownership of Donald Trump, would have been another obvious possibility, but changes are being made to the Ailsa Course later this year and the priority will surely be to let them bed in before the Open Championship returns there again.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s withdrawal from the race to stage the 2022 Ryder Cup was confirmed as a series of visits to countries still in the frame is set to start today in Germany.
“It has not proven possible to secure the necessary logistical arrangements in order to proceed and so we have reluctantly decided to withdraw from the process,” said Ahmet Agaoglu, president of the Turkish Golf Federation.
That leaves Germany, Spain, Austria, Italy and Portugal in the running to stage the event’s 44th contest. “We are very much looking forward to the fact-finding missions and seeing precisely the vision that each country has for the hosting of the 2022 Ryder Cup,” said Ryder Cup director Richard Hills.
Following the visits, countries will have until the end of April to decide whether or not to submit official bids.
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