Scotland is still excited about hosting The Solheim Cup in 2019. In March it was questionable whether Scotland will launch a formal bid in the summer. Now it is sure that they will officially bid for the hosting of The Solheim Cup in 2019.
Scots take this bid really seriously. The Scottish Government (Jamie Hepburn, the Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health) is strongly supporting this initiative. The bid team has been lead by VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
After a long selection process, The Scottish Government, the Scottish Ladies Golf Association, Scottish Golf Union, Transport Scotland and current Scottish LET professionals and of course VisitScotland selected Gleneagles (was acquired by Ennismore for around £150m) as an ideal bidding partner. The game would be played on the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles.
They calculate with 30,000 spectators per day to the Perthshire venue including a strong contingent travelling from outwith Scotland and from overseas.
I think, the opportunity to host such a big golf event can contribute to women’s participation in golf. It would be nice to boost women’s golf club membership to above 20% in Scotland (and of course elsewhere also).
However VisitScotland has to come up with more convincing reasons to believe (RTB) than emphasizing Scotland’s golf history and heritage. We also cannot be sure that the weather will be favourable to the event (see what happened during the British Open this year).
Other weakness of Scotland and Gleneagles is what can they offer to the spectators beside the game. My impression is that the crowds are largely made up of the ladies sections of golf clubs plus family and friends. If this is really the case, then what can the organizers offer to these ladies??(e.g. shopping opportunity, spas etc.) Well, when I think about Scotland, golf, whiskey and James Bond come to my mind first.
This is why I think Turkey, Spain, Portugal or Italy can be tough competitors for Scotland.