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How the Ryder Cup was won part 3
As 2000 progressed the guidelines for the bid started to change somewhat as I suspect the decision makers came to value what the impact of hosting The Ryder Cup meant to both the host nation and the host venue.
Word reached us that the other European bids from Italy & Sweden had withdrawn and it was a 3 way battle between England, Scotland & Wales.
Privately we discounted the English bid which was basically backed by the hotel company DeVere, owner of The Belfry and was for Slaley Hall their hotel near Newcastle. We reckoned that having hosted the event 4 times already at The Belfry, De Vere had had more than their fare share of the action.
Scotland had presented 6 potential venues, 1 of which hadn`t even been built (and still hasn`t) 3 were Open Championship venues Turnberry, St Andrews & Carnoustie with proven experience of handling big tournaments plus Gleneagles & Loch Lomond.
Of the Scottish venues we reckoned on Gleneagles & Loch Lomond as both venues were backed by wealthy owners and more importantly both already hosted Europeantour events.
We reckoned it was going to be between ourselves and Scotland and so did they with the opening salvo of their campaign coming from Scottish rugby legend Gavin Hastings who described our course as “ A cabbage patch.”
No one in our team could actually remember Mr Hastings ever visiting Celtic Manor.
Naturally this made the newspapers as did a visit from a reporter from the Scottish Sunday Mail who wrote a less than flattering account of his round of golf claiming that it was spoilt by the roar of traffic from the nearby M4 and staging a photo where he managed to include an electricity pylon with the M4 in the background.
Knowing that there were no electricity pylons on the course and that the M4 was at least 2 miles away we set out to prove the photo was taken elsewhere and this was accepted by the judge in the subsequent court case that Steve Howell our media savvy PR guru made sure was reported widely.
As we entered 2001 the bidding hotted up with Gleneagles announcing the opening of a new course called The PGA and their intention to sponsor a Europeantour event in August.
Loch Lomond came up with a £2.5 million sponsorship package to host The Scottish Open and as a country Scotland announced plans to build a national golf academy.
We committed to holding and sponsoring The Wales Open for the next 10 years in a deal worth overall some £15 million to the Europeantour.
Tomorrow I`ll tell you how Bill Clinton became involved.
In this section
- Are Patients from Mars and Health Care Professionals from Venus? - Part 2
- Are Patients from Mars & Health Care Professionals from Venus? - Part 1
- Launch of Jobs At Home
- Watford Foodbank
- There's Only One Lloyd Doyley
- Social Enterprise – The Watford Cycle Hub
- Co-parenting – artificial insemination at home
- Social Enterprise – The Green Canteen
- Step Parent Rights