The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports, Arturo Bernal, visited this Wednesday the facilities of the Finca Cortesín golf course, in Casares (Málaga)to learn about the preparations for the Solheim Cup, which will be held from September 18 to 24. It is the first time that Spain has hosted this event, the most important women’s golf tournament on the international calendar and which pits teams from Europe and the United States against each other every two years. Barely a month from the appointment, 82,000 tickets have been sold and the organization predicts a full history.
The counselor was accompanied by the golfer Noemí Jiménez; the General Secretaries for Tourism, Yolanda Aguilar; and Sport, Jose Maria Arrabal; the managing director of the Public Company for the Management of Tourism and Sports of Andalusia, Lisardo Moran; Gemma del Corral, territorial delegate for Tourism, Culture and Sports in Malaga; the General Manager of Finca Cortesín, vincent rubioand Francisco Lancastre, golf director of Finca Cortesin, among others.
The golf course has undergone some modifications to adapt to the requirements of the Solheim Cup. The new hole 1 makes it possible to place a grandstand with capacity for three thousand spectators. Regarding the forecast of visitors, Bernal recalled that “82,000 tickets have been sold, it is a record number, and it is especially relevant that in the distribution of these tickets 50% come from the United Kingdom and Scotland. And it is also important that the usual average number of visitors from the US was 2% and it has reached 6%”.
The counselor estimated the media impact of the Solheim Cup at “200 million euros. We also expect around 300 million euros of direct and indirect impact. We are talking about a global impact of about 500 million euroswith an event that will not only place Andalusia and Malaga as a place of reference”, he said.
Bernal also wanted to highlight the special sensitivity of the Junta de Andalucía and the golf industry to the drought. In this sense, he explained that «80% of the golf courses in Andalusia irrigate with reclaimed water. And the rest that don’t have the chance to do it are irrigating with non-potable water. Therefore, it is a myth and it must be explained well: no golf course in Andalusia is irrigated with drinking water. It is a great effort that has been made by the golf industry.
Regarding the Spanish participation, he recalled that “we have Charlotte Ziganda already in the European team and we hope to have a second Andalusian player, the from Malaga Ana Peláez, which depends on how she does it in these weeks, especially at the British Open. Surely it would arouse much more expectation and attention from the local community, which will massively attend this tournament.
The teams are made up of 12 players each and the selection process includes the world ranking, the LET ranking and the free choice of members by the captains. The European team is led by Suzann Pettersen and the United States by Stacy Lewis, in charge of outlining the composition of the teams that will face each other for the intercontinental trophy. Europe has won four of the last six editions of the Solheim Cup, including the thrilling 2019 victory in Scotland (Gleneagles).