I’ve noticed there has been virtually no media coverage or buzz about the potential 2015 Solheim host venues in the press. Totally the opposite to the buzz leading up to this summer’s Ryder Cup announcement and its actually hard to blame the media for the lack of stories & articles.
The Ryder Cup selection committee and/or host candidates published their bid packages and organized media visits to the candidate courses, etc.
I hope the Solheim selection committee, LET, and LPGA recognize that they need to be similarly proactive about the PR if they want the big galleries and big money at future editions of this great event.
That being said and with the 2015 Solheim Cup announcement is coming up in the next few days, I thought I’d outline what little we know about the finalists who are vying to host this prestigious tournament.
Please note that we have no insider knowledge into the decision process and nothing has been officially announced (not even which are really the finalists), so this is pure speculation.
Gut Kaden (Hamburg, Germany)
It would be fantastic to see a professional womens tournament in northern Germany. The regular German stop on the LET has been hosted near Munich for the past few years, so the location alone has the potential to introduce the womens game to a wider German public.
We’ve long thought that Germany should be considering hosting additional professional womens tournaments – another LET stop (Hamburg, Berlin) or LET Access Series tournament would have a positive impact on growth and interest in the women’s game.
website: Golfclub Gut Kaden
Forest Pines (England)
The English and UK commitment to the womens game is tremendous. From what we’ve gathered Forest Pines is a lovely course and great potential host venue.
The 27 hole facility was designed by John Morgan and is located in the Lincolnshire region. The ownership group has committed an additional £500,000 into developing the destination as a world class destination for sport, business and culture if their bid is successful. They estimate that hosting the tournament could give a £35 million boost to the local economy, based on 25,000 visitors per day and the fact that all accommodation within a 75 mile radius would likely be booked for the event.
website: Forest Pines / Q Hotels
La Manga (Murcia, Spain)
The host of the LET Q school has thrown its hat in the ring. We know a bit more about this one, since we have regularly visited the resort (LET Q School, Murcia Ladies Open) during the past couple of years so we can write a bit more about it.
The resort itself has been in receivership for the past few years and would probably require some investment to bring the course itself up to standard. However Solheim redevelopment (if included in the bid) could be seen as a very positive legacy impact for the resort and for the region as a golf destination.
The strongest points of their bid would have to be:
1) commitment to women’s golf – the host resort already hosts 3 professional womens tournaments each year. None of the other candidate courses have shown this type of long-term commitment to the womens game (which in my opinion is exactly what should be the top point considered for any bid).
2) great organizers – the organizers behind the bid already organize three tournaments on the LET schedule as well as the Spanish Women’s Championship. Again totally committed to the womens game and experienced in hosting womens tournaments.
3) infrastructure – the infrastructure is already in place (large resort, 3 championship courses, plenty of hotels), so this is also very much a strength.
website: La Manga
4th & 5th finalist
There are rumors that there are 1 or 2 additional hosts which have made it to the finalist stage.
Who will win? We need to just wait & see. Should be announced in a few days.