Perthshire is poised to welcome the golfing world. While Gleneagles holds the tournament focus, golf clubs across the area look forward to playing their part and enticing visitors to their fairways in the coming days… and indeed beyond.
Yes, the wait for the biggest team event in women’s golf to tee off in Perthshire is almost over. The PGA Centenary Course will provide the stage from Friday (13 September) as Europe and the USA lock horns in the Solheim Cup. Gleneagles will become the first European venue to host both the Ryder Cup (2014) and the Solheim – a fitting accolade for the luxury five-star resort.
Huge crowds are expected to attend over the three days of competition and deliver significant economic benefits, staying in the area and enjoying the various golf courses on offer. Golf tourism is worth in excess of £19 million annually to the Perth & Kinross economy, supporting more than 520 jobs with the region being renowned as a popular family destination.
“The bigger the crowds the better – the crowd is definitely the 13th member of the team,” says Scotland’s Catriona Matthew, the European captain. “It’s amazing how much they can energise you on the course if the crowd is getting behind you, you can hear them cheering the other matches – and you definitely know whether it is a European cheer or a USA cheer!”
To celebrate the Solheim Cup coming to Gleneagles and reinforcing Perthshire's position as one of the world's most family-friendly golf destinations, several of the region's 9-hole golf courses are offering FREE golf to women and girls throughout the week of the event when playing with a green fee paying adult.
Locals and visitors to the area are encouraged to take advantage of this special offer, which runs from Monday 9ththrough to Sunday 15th September. Take in nine holes in 90 minutes at various venues close to Gleneagles, leaving plenty of time to catch the Solheim Cup action!
Find out more information and participating clubs at Solheim Cup Week - FREE Golf for Women and Girls.
The move builds on the area’s offering to budding junior golfers who have benefitted from free golf and access to free golf equipment as part of an innovative partnership between The Solheim Cup and Golf Perthshire.
More than 80 sets of junior golf equipment were purchased by Golf Perthshire and distributed to all 26 golf clubs across the region thanks to a £10,000 grant from The 2019 Solheim Cup Golf Development Programme, with the aim of encouraging more young people into the sport.
In addition, since last spring, the majority of golf clubs across Perth & Kinross signed up to Golf Perthshire’s scheme to offer free golf to people under the age of 18 with a paying adult, with the remainder introducing affordable family golf passes. The focus across the area has certainly been on family and fun!
Back at Gleneagles, given the global TV reach in excess of 600 million people for the Solheim Cup, the eyes of the world will be on Perth & Kinross, promoting the area as an open, accessible and family-friendly golf and tourism destination.
Organisers have also lined up a family-friendly event to engage and enhance the local community, with children under-16 able to attend free of charge, and a host of family activities on site.
“The crowds have to play a part, that’s the way it is in Scotland,” notes European vice-captain Kathryn Imrie, a long-time friend of Matthew since their amateur days. “The good old ‘Tartan Army’ down the years have really helped teams and hopefully they can do the same with us. I think home advantage will help.”
Across Perthshire, the welcome mat for golf fans is ready and waiting.
To buy tickets, please visit www.solheimcup2019.com
(Posted on Wednesday 4th September 2019)