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Scottish bid, youth strategy, funding
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£30m bid to find future stars
Ian Broadley, The Herald, 27 October 2000
A £30m drive was launched yesterday to secure the
2009 Ryder Cup and develop golf in Scotland over the next decade.
Revealing a unique partnership between the public and
private sectors to fund the bid, Sam Galbraith, Scottish Executive Cabinet
Minister with responsibility for sport, also promised to initiate inner-city
programmes to recruit new players.
This will put Scotland on a par with the USA, where the
First Tee Programme has already established 27 inner-city learning centres and
mini-courses to take golf to the ghettos.
There was also a pledge that by 2009, the first available
date that the Ryder Cup can be secured, every child by the age of nine will
have been introduced to the game.
The Welsh Parliament will today unveil their plans to
attract the biennial series to Celtic Manor, the £100m resort built and
owned by Terry Matthews.
The other rivals to the Scottish bid, Slaley Hall in
Cumbria and Barseback, near Malmo in Sweden, have yet to declare their hand.
However, it is unlikely to equal the Scottish bid, which is a massive boost for
golf in the new century. The Scottish Executive has already committed to
investing £14m on improving existing facilities and creating new
A further £10m will be forthcoming if the Ryder Cup
Committee accepts their bid when a decision is reached in January. The fact
that the PGA's executive director, Sandy Jones, is a Scot will not harm the
The Bank of Scotland, which has put forward an additional
£6m, because of the benefits to the Scottish economy of the Ryder Cup,
which estimates believe will generate at least £67m.
Scotland's top players Colin Montgomerie, former Open
champion Paul Lawrie, and European Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance all gave
their backing to the event returning to the birthplace of the game for the
first time since 1973.
Montgomerie, who has been recruited as unofficial golfing
ambassador, explained: "Scots have a mixture of pride and ambition that make
them want to be the best. In my golfing career, I have always aimed for the top
and I know that my fellow players like Sam Torrance and Paul Lawrie feel the
"It's probably why we have some of the best courses in the
world. What other nation can boast five venues of the quality of St Andrews,
Loch Lomond, Gleneagles, Turnberry, and Car- noustie to stage the Ryder
"That desire to be the best is certainly why we invented
the finest game in the world. It's also why we are continuing to invest in new
courses and facilities.
"You have to remember that golf is the people's game in
Scotland, played by men, women and children from all walks of life. Golf is
part of the fabric of the nation.
"I am proud to support Scotland's bid for the Ryder Cup in
2009 and we have developed the most comprehensive bid possible.
"It will be a catalyst for the development of the game. To
give so many youngsters access to the sport is a commitment few nations can
"I know that we can deliver a Ryder Cup that will leave a
legacy of golf for the whole country to enjoy."
Aberdonian Lawrie endorsed that view and insisted that
winning the biennial series on home soil would be an even greater thrill than
lifting the claret jug.
"It would be huge to host the Ryder Cup at the home of golf
and it is time it did return here," Lawrie said. "I could think of nothing
better than to play on a winning European team in Scotland - that would even
surpass my Open Championship victory at Carnoustie," Lawrie insisted.
"Our fans are the most knowledgeable and sporting in the
game. All the European players love competing here because of the reception
they get from them.
"The Ryder Cup is now one of the truly great sporting
events of the world and one in which golfers on either side of the Atlantic are
desperate to be involved.
"The passionate support which is generated by the event is
staggering. I know that if Scotland hosts it in 2009, the support of the
Scottish crowds will be invaluable in helping us win the trophy.
"To see the Ryder Cup won in my native country would be
very special indeed."
Muirfield is an unofficial contender to host the series and
other clubs could throw their hat into the ring if the bid succeeds.
The Scottish Executive identified three key objectives in
compiling their bid: re-establishing and clarifying Scotland as the home of
golf, maximising the opportunities which hosting the Ryder Cup would provide to
develop the game at every level and the potential that the biennial series
would offer in increasing the number of golf tourists.
Galbraith, maintaining that the bid was of the highest
quality and met every criteria, said: "The Scottish Executive and their public
sector partners have earmarked £24m for the development and promotion of
golf over the next decade. Over 50 per cent of this is new money to support
Scotland's Ryder Cup bid.
"A progressive programme of golf development initiatives is
also a key element of the bid. We will invest a further £10m to secure
the Ryder Cup and make it the focal point of a co-ordinated drive to boost golf
tourism and increase participation in the sport to new levels. The 2009 Ryder
Cup presents a unique opportunity for Scotland.
"This is the home of golf and has a proud history in the
game but it is necessary to look to the future as well as to its
traditions." more Ryder Cup
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