Another Lost Opportunity

Last month, I was at St. Leon-Roc for the 2015 Solheim Cup. I had the pleasure of talking to Björn Örås, who was also in attendance. There was little doubt that Mr. Örås was doing some last minute lobbying to bring the 2019 Solheim Cup to Bro Hof Slott in Stockholm.

Sorry, Björn. Not this time...again.At the Annika Invitational at Bro Bålsta, Club Manager Patrik Wester was hoping for Bro Hof to get the Solheim. It would mean that Bro Bålsta would be hosting the Junior Solheim in 2019.

Today it was announced that both Swedish golf clubs would not be hosting either event.

The Ladies European Tour announced that the 2019 Solheim Cup would be held at Gleneagles Golf Club in Perthshire, Scotland. Gleneagles hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup. I just visited the Perthshire region and I can tell you that Gleneagles is located in one of the more scenic areas of Scotland and has many golf courses to play while attending the Solheim event. Take it from me, why wait? The area and its golf is that good!

Ivan Khodabakhsh, chief executive of Ladies European Tour said: “I want to congratulate the Scotland bid team for their work. It was an extremely close decision and our heartfelt thanks go to our friends from Sweden for their hugely impressive bid. The Bro Hof Slott Golf Club is one of Europe’s very finest courses and we look forward to working with them in the future.”

Commenting on the news that the Ladies European Tour’s Board voted in favor of Scotland, The Right Honorable Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland MSP, said: “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.”

Once again, Bro Hof Slott is denied the opportunity to host a golfing international event of the highest calibre. The failed bid for the 2018 Ryder Cup went to France. Why has Bro Hof Slott and Sweden lately become the bridesmaid and never the bride when it comes to these major events?

One reason may be found in this fact. 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. The local area around Gleneagles is also supportive as the locals realize the importance of major golf event’s positive impact on the local economy.

It seems that unless the Swedish government, Visit Sweden and the Swedish corporate community realize the value of hosting international sporting events, Swedish golf will continue to be on the outside looking in.