Ted Bishop Floats Valhalla For Ryder Cup... Permamently
By Torleif Sorenson on 3/5/14
The PGA of America purchased a 25% share of Valhalla Golf Club in Louisville, Kentucky in 1993, just after they awarded the 1996 PGA Championship to the club. After that event, the PGA increased their percentage of ownership to 50% and then brought the 2000 PGA Championship back there. After that, the PGA exercised its option to buy the club outright from the previous owners. Not surprisingly, the PGA has held the 2004 and 2011 Senior PGA Championship at Valhalla and will have this year's PGA Championship there, as well.
So it was not a surprise when, shortly after they took full ownership of the club, the PGA decided to hold the 2008 Ryder Cup at Valhalla.
But now, PGA of America president Ted Bishop has floated the idea of Valhalla becoming the permanent U.S. site of the Ryder Cup matches. In an interview with NBC-TV affiliate WAVE in Louisville, Bishop said:
"I think one of the great visions for Valhalla would be, maybe there's a day down the road where Valhalla becomes the permanent site of a domestic Ryder Cup. Where you can go in and you can do the kind of infrastructure that they have done at Augusta National, with the Masters. Think what you could do here, if you knew you were going to play the Ryder Cup every four years."If it ever happened, it would not happen until the year 2028 at the earliest; the Ryder Cup is already scheduled in advance for the following venues:
2014: Gleneagles Resort, Auchterarder, Scotland
The biggest reason that the Ryder Cup has not been contested in the western United States since 1959 (Eldorado Golf Club in Indian Wells, California) is because European newspapers would not have nearly enough time between the end of afternoon matches and when printing presses would need to roll. This is because of the eight-hour time-zone difference between the west coast and Greenwich Mean Time in Great Britain and Ireland. Worse yet, much of Europe and Scandinavia use Central European Time, which is one hour ahead of GMT.
So at this point in time, you should not expect the Ryder Cup matches to be held at Pebble Beach, Chambers Bay, Bandon Dunes, or perhaps even Colorado Golf Club.
The European Tour jointly administers the Ryder Cup matches with the PGA of America and, previously, held the Ryder Cup three consecutive times at The Belfry — in 1985, 1989, and 1993. After a redesign and renovation, The Belfry hosted again in 2002. Before that, the only other venue to host the Ryder Cup consecutively was the more highly-regarded Royal Birkdale in 1965 and 1969.
Acknowledging that his term as PGA of America president concludes later this year on November 27, Bishop allowed that Valhalla becoming the permanent U.S. host his own idea:
"Quite honestly, we haven't even talked about 2028 at this point in time. But I'm just saying these are some of the out of the box, creative things that you can think about when you own a facility, like we do Valhalla, when you are talking about bringing championships of some type back to the same venue over a period of time."Just sticking my proverbial neck out there, your humble correspondent simply does not feel that Valhalla-as-permament-host will meet with popular demand.
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H-T: Will Gray
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