COUNT­DOWN TO SOL­HEIM

Gle­nea­gles gets pre­pared for cup tour­na­ment in 2019

Strathearn Herald - - THE BACK PAGE - Matthew Gal­lagher

Ex­cite­ment is build­ing fol­low­ing the of­fi­cial han­dover of the Sol­heim Cup to Strat­hearn.

For Gary Sil­cock, the di­rec­tor of golf at 2019 host venue Gle­nea­gles, there comes an ev­i­dent sense of pride in rep­re­sent­ing and again push­ing Scot­land’s name onto the world stage.

The most tal­ented women golfers on the planet will de­scend on the pic­turesque re­sort in two years’ time, from Septem­ber 13-15, with Team USA set to de­fend their Des Moines Golf and Coun­try Club tro­phy tri­umph from Iowa.

The ba­ton may now have of­fi­cially been passed on to Gle­nea­gles but prepa­ra­tions for the pres­ti­gious event have been long un­der way.

“I think what peo­ple would be sur­prised with is that we started two and a half years ago,” Sil­cock ex­plained. “Visit Scot­land are very happy with where we are, and so are we.

“The Sol­heim Cup has Visit Scot­land as the back­ing. You have Scot­land sup­port­ing, as they did with the Ry­der Cup and that makes a very unique event. It’s a great driv­ing force for suc­cess. In Des Moines, it was a pri­vate mem­bers’ club and was re­ally the LPGA putting on a show. We have the strength and size of Scot­land be­hind us.

“We are re­ally proud to rep­re­sent Scot­tish golf. Gle­nea­gles is iconic but Visit Scot­land has put us up there to rep­re­sent the coun­try. From a lo­cal, I’m re­ally proud to say that we are rep­re­sent­ing the best of what Scot­land has.”

Sil­cock has at­tended the pre­vi­ous two Sol­heim Cup events, Ger­many 2015 and Amer­ica 2017, so has a taste of what to ex­pect when Septem­ber 2019 rolls around.

Hav­ing hosted a suc­cess­ful Ry­der Cup in 2014, Gle­nea­gles will be more than ready to im­press again.

“One of the big pos­i­tives from the Ry­der Cup was the travel and park­ing. Gle­nea­gles is tried and tested. It’s a tour­na­ment venue and has that DNA run­ning through the whole re­sort, not just the golf el­e­ment,” Sil­cock said.

“I left Scot­land 18 years ago and came back, and I was brought up 20 miles from here.

“Dur­ing my seven years at The Bel­fry I saw the im­pact of what tour­na­ment golf does. It put The Bel­fry on the map so it def­i­nitely puts Gle­nea­gles on the map - and Scot­land too.”

The stag­ing of The 2019 Sol­heim Cup at Gle­nea­gles is be­ing led by the Even­tS­cot­land team within VisitS­cot­land’s events di­rec­torate.

Paul Bush, di­rec­tor of events with VisitS­cot­land, said: “We have wit­nessed a truly world-class ex­hi­bi­tion of golf in Des Moines for The 2017 Sol­heim Cup with huge crowds sup­port­ing both teams and a mas­sive world­wide TV au­di­ence.

“I hope this suc­cess has whet­ted the ap­petite of spec­ta­tors for Gle­nea­gles and demon­strated the sheer scale of the event com­ing to Scot­land in 2019.”

Pride Gary Sil­cock

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