The Solheim Cup will be played at The Gleneagles Hotel in 2019 after the Ladies European Tour voted to stage the event in Scotland, the Home of Golf for the third time in its history.
The event is regarded as the biggest tournament in women’s golf and will pit the best female professional golfers in Europe against their United States counterparts, attracting a huge worldwide audience and media profile for the host country.
And now, just five years on from hosting what was dubbed the “best-ever” Ryder Cup in September 2014, The PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles will be the venue for the biggest event in women’s golf following Scotland’s successful bid.
Commenting on the news that the Ladies European Tour’s Board voted in favour of Scotland, The Right Honourable Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland MSP, said: “This is tremendous news, not only for golf tourism and events in Scotland but for Scotland as a whole. As a nation we take a huge amount of pride in welcoming major events to our country and in women’s golf they don’t come any bigger than The Solheim Cup.
“The outstanding success of 2014 still looms large in the memory and I am delighted that Gleneagles and Scotland will once again play host to a major international team golf event. It will help cement Scotland’s reputation as the Home of Golf and the perfect stage for major golf events and help inspire a new generation of children to take up the game invented in their home country.”
Scotland’s bid, which was led by the EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate and backed by The Scottish Government, was submitted in August and received huge support from stars across the golfing, sporting and media spectrum.
Following the initial submission, a delegation from the Ladies European Tour visited Gleneagles as part of an official site inspection, where they met key partners who will be involved in the staging of the event including VisitScotland, The Scottish Government, Gleneagles, Perth & Kinross Council, Transport Scotland and Police Scotland. To show the nation’s support for the bid, they were also welcomed at The Scottish Parliament by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health Jamie Hepburn.
Bernard Murphy, Managing Director of The Gleneagles Hotel, said:
“We are extremely proud to be chosen as the host venue for The 2019 Solheim Cup. Gleneagles has a great history of holding major international events and we are delighted to be able to add The Solheim Cup to that list. We look forward to welcoming the teams and spectators from both sides in 2019 to take part in what we are sure will be yet another memorable event.”
The Solheim Cup has grown in stature since it was last held in Scotland at Loch Lomond in 2000. The event at Gleneagles is expected to attract more than 100,000 spectators as well as being screened to hundreds of millions of homes across the globe.
Much like The Ryder Cup in 2014, Scotland will look to capitalise on the legacy associated with hosting such a major international sporting event. A key focus will be looking to drive participation in the game, with a particular emphasis on junior and family participation.
The event will also add to Scotland’s already impressive portfolio of world-class golf events lined up in future years, which includes The Open Championship in 2016 and 2018, the Senior Open Championship in 2016 and the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2017 in addition to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open on an annual basis.
It will also take place just a year after the recently-announced inaugural European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles in 2018, which will see professional men and women golfers compete for the first time in the same competition.
Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, added:
“Hosting major international sporting events is a key strand in our National Events Strategy, The Perfect Stage, and the fact that we can now add The 2019 Solheim Cup to an already envied list is fantastic news for Scotland.
“Golf is one of our key drivers for inbound tourism and hosting The Solheim Cup in 2019 will ensure that we continue to play on the world stage when it comes to major golf events. We are looking forward to once again welcoming spectators from Europe and the US and showing the world how Scotland embraces major events.”
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Notes to Editors
- The Solheim Cup is one of the biggest women’s sporting events on the planet and has been played biennially since 1990 (changing to odd years in 2003 following the reshuffling of the golfing calendar in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001)
- Scotland has a proud association with the event having hosted it on two previous occasions: Dalmahoy Country Club in 1992 and Loch Lomond Golf Club in 2000.
- Scotland’s Dale Reid has twice captained the European Team – in 2000 and 2002 – while Catriona Matthew has played a total of 33 matches across seven events, winning 19 points in the process.
- Matthew also famously holed the winning putt at Barseback Country Club in Sweden in 2003
- Scotland already has a strong track record of supporting women’s professional golf with the Ladies Scottish Open (which began in 1986) supported by VisitScotland since 2007 and the Women’s British Open having been played here three of the last five years, with future commitments already made for 2017 and 2019.
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- VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
- The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
- This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
- Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
- Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
- Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
- Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
- Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
- Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
- Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
- VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
- The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
- According to a recent Deloitte study, the tourism economy supports 270,000 jobs in Scotland in 20,000 diverse businesses. The same study calculates that the tourism economy contributes £11 billion annually (direct and indirect impact, including day visits) and supports around 10 per cent of employment in Scotland. Almost 16 million tourists take overnight trips to Scotland.
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- Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
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Year of Food and Drink 2015
- 2015 is the Year of Food and Drink, a celebration of Scotland’s natural larder and the role that food and drink plays in shaping our economic success.
- Scotland generates over £2.5m per day through food and drink tourism.
- A series of themed months will create an appetite for key areas of Scotland’s food and drink industries – from seafood and whisky to berries and high-quality meat
- For more information, visit www.visitscotland.com/tastescotland