History, heritage, certainty and innovation are the key principles that have been emphasised during the Evaluation Committee’s visit to inspect the Costa Brava – Barcelona 2022 bid proposal. The Committee will decide on the host venue for the Ryder Cup, the most important golfing competition in the world, held between teams from Europe and the United States.
The visit programme, which included an official presentation at the Palau de la Generalitat, was severely disrupted as a result of the tragic plane crash in the French Alps, in which at least 49 people of Spanish nationality died. The presentation was cancelled following the accident, with the bid team offering their condolences to the families of the victims.
The Ryder Cup Evaluation Committee’s two day visit was brought to a close with a private meeting with the Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, and a tour of the most iconic landmarks in Barcelona. This included a tour around the Boqueria Market, accompanied by renowned chef Paco Pérez, a visit to the major sights in the old town, and a trip to the Camp Nou football stadium. The Evaluation Committee, led by Richard Hills, also attended a technical seminar in the town of Lloret de Mar, before touring the facilities at the PGA Catalunya Resort and its famous Stadium Course. The Resort, chosen as the proposed venue for the bid, is an internationally renowned golf resort that has received widespread praise from professional golfers, sports institutions and the media.
Miguel Cardenal, the Secretary of State for Sport, and Gonzaga Escauriaza, President of the Royal Spanish Golf Federation, both reaffirmed their support for the Costa Brava – Barcelona 2022 bid. The bid proposal responded to criteria relating to institutional support, infrastructure, access, security, commercial opportunities and the development of golf as a sport, which are all fundamental requirements to host the 2022 Ryder Cup. The final choice will be made in late autumn 2015, when the Ryder Cup Europe management team, working alongside a panel of independent experts, will officially announce the winning bid.
All the organisations involved, including the Spanish Sports Council, the Regional Government of Catalonia, the Royal Spanish Golf Federation, the PGA Catalunya Resort, Barcelona City Council, Girona Provincial Council, Barcelona Provincial Council, the Costa Brava-Girona Tourist Board, Girona City Council, Caldes de Malavella Town Council and the Catalan Golf Federation, are working together on the bid dossier, which must be submitted to the Ryder Cup Europe Selection Committee by 30 April, 2015. Germany, Austria, Italy and Portugal have also announced official bids to host the Ryder Cup in 2022.
Gonzaga Escauriaza: “The proposal is about more than just the Ryder Cup”
Gonzaga Escauriaza, President of the Royal Spanish Golf Federation, illustrated to the Evaluation Committee that, “the proposal is about more than just the Ryder Cup, it is for historical reasons, passion and certainty”.
Gonzaga Escauriaza highlighted the enormous contribution Spanish golf has made to both the European Tour and the Ryder Cup throughout golfing history, “contributing in terms of the number and quality of the participants to a much greater extent than any of the other bids. Spain has hosted more than double the number of tournaments than any other candidate, and our country is also notable for the extraordinary talent of our golfers, including Severiano Ballesteros, José Maria Olazábal, Sergio García and Miguel Ángel Jiménez”.
The President of the Royal Spanish Golf Federation continued, “they have all shown an unparalleled, contagious passion for the game that has led to important victories in the Ryder Cup, and this same passion is shared and spread by golf fans and spectators in Spain”.
The bid also represents absolute certainty, “as everything is ready and waiting to host the Ryder Cup. The course, which has received universal praise, is already built, along with the necessary infrastructure required to stage this event, including airports, roads and hotels”.
Ivan Tibau, Secretary General of Sports for the Regional Government of Catalonia, spoke during the technical seminar to highlight, “the strong support from Catalan public institutions to host the Ryder Cup in 2022”, while Xavier Amador, Director of Institutional Relations for Barcelona City Council, emphasised that, “Barcelona is a world-renowned brand, well-prepared and experienced in hosting the most important sporting events in the world. We are Girona, we are Caldes, we are innovative, and we are a core part of the project”.
Xavier Espasa, Director of the Catalan Tourist Board, took his turn to speak to highlight that, “Catalonia has a proven record as a tourist destination, welcoming more than 25 million visitors every year, more than three times the number of the region’s inhabitants”. Jaume Marín, Marketing Director of the Costa Brava-Girona Tourist Board, emphasised the high-quality of the existing infrastructure and facilities, with over 180,000 beds in hotels and other types of accommodation within an hour of the golf course”.
About the bid proposal
Easily accessible from world-renowned cities such as Barcelona and Girona, the PGA Catalunya Resort has been voted best golf course in Spain for 3 years running. The course was recently crowned European Golf Resort of the Year 2015 by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators.
Barcelona and Girona are connected by a high-speed train line that takes just 37 minutes, in addition to a motorway that allows easy access to the two international airports.
The beaches and resorts along the Costa Brava are just a 25-minute drive from the PGA Catalunya Resort.
There are more than 135,000 hotel rooms within one hour of the golf course (183,000 rooms including apartments and campsites), and over 80,000 of them have a 3-star rating or higher.
Catalonia has a proven track record organising world-class events. Over recent months, Catalonia has hosted the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, the Open de España, the Catalan MotoGP, the Basketball World Cup and the FINA World Aquatics Championships.
About The Ryder Cup
The 2022 Ryder Cup will be the 44th edition of the biennial tournament, first held in 1927, contested between teams from Europe and the United States. Up until 1979 only British golfers played on the European team, before participation was extended that year to include players from across Europe.
Since then, nine editions of the tournament have been hosted in the United States, while in Europe five editions have been hosted in England, as well as one tournament held in Ireland, Wales and Scotland respectively, and one in Spain (Valderrama 1997). Future editions of The Ryder Cup will be held at the Hazeltine National Golf Club (Chaska, Minnesota, USA) in 2016; at Le Golf National (Paris, France) in 2018; and at Whistling Straits (Kohler, Wisconsin, USA) in 2020.
About the PGA Catalunya Resort and the Stadium Course
Opened in 1999, the PGA Catalunya Resort has been endorsed by the number of prestigious, nationally and internationally renowned tournaments held there, for both professional golfers and amateur players. The Resort’s Stadium Course has also received widespread acclaim as one of the best courses in Europe. In addition to its two prestigious golf courses, the PGA Catalunya Resort is also the result of an innovative vision for an ambitious residential project.
The golf course, located near Girona, has been characterised from the beginning by its commitment to the sport. Ten months after it was inaugurated, the Resort became the first golf course to host two events of the PGA European Tour so soon after opening – the Sarazen World Open in October 1999 and the Open de España in April 2000, an event that was welcomed back in 2009, with a win for the Frenchman Thomas Levet, and again in 2014, when Spaniard Miguel Ángel Jiménez took the trophy.
Key criteria for bid proposals to host the 2022 Ryder Cup
. Demonstrable support from the government, political institutions and the golfing community.
. Provision of a world-class golfing facility (new or existing) to host the 2022 Ryder Cup.
. Ancillary facilities, suitable access and infrastructure commensurate with the staging of the tournament, including proximity to a major international city.
. Commercial opportunities available to the Ryder Cup.
. The bid proposal should detail how it will contribute to the development of golf in the country: contribution to professional golf; integration of golf within tourism and business opportunities; improving golf participation at every level; professional golf tournaments at all levels; contribution to the Ryder Cup through player participation.
Click here for more information on the Costa Brava – Barcelona 2022 bid