(DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., Dec. 21, 2004) Rich Harvest Farms, the prestigious course 50 miles west of Chicago in Sugar Grove, Illinois, has been selected as the site for the 2009 Solheim Cup, as announced today by Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Commissioner Ty M. Votaw.
“The LPGA is excited to bring The Solheim Cup to such a challenging and beautiful venue, and we are thankful to Jerry Rich for inviting us to Rich Harvest Farms and allowing us to stage one of the biggest sporting events in women’s golf in his backyard,” said Votaw. “We look forward to not only showcasing some of the best players in one of the most spirited competitions in the world, but also to showcasing one of the finest courses in the country.”
The 2009 Solheim Cup will be the 11th staging of the event, which was started by Karsten and Louise Solheim, founders of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, which makes PING golf equipment. Karsten Manufacturing has sponsored The Solheim Cup since its inception in 1990.
“Rich Harvest Farms will be a wonderful site for the 2009 Solheim Cup,” said John A. Solheim, Chairman and CEO of PING, Inc., and Karsten and Louise Solheim’s youngest son. “Rich Harvest Farms is a relatively new course, but one that has received much praise in a short amount of time. I am sure the players will thoroughly enjoy Rich Harvest Farms, and the total experience will be very special.”
Rich Harvest Farms was built in 1989 by architect and sole owner Jerry Rich and has already received numerous accolades. In 1999, it was named the fifth-best new private course in the United States by Golf Digest and in 2003 made its debut on Golf Digest’s Top 100 American Golf Courses.
The course represents a true links-style setup with players heading out for nine holes and then back in for the remaining nine. The par-72 design can be played from 6,334 to 7,600 yards. Rich’s influence can be found in many areas around the facility, including the naming of each hole which reflects his inspiration for the course. The facility also includes two complete driving ranges as well as additional practice areas.
“I am more than pleased that the LPGA has chosen Rich Harvest Farms to host the 2009 Solheim Cup,” said Rich. “Players and staff alike will experience one-of-a-kind hospitality and accommodations during their stay and will equally enjoy playing, what I think, is one of the best and most pristine new courses in the nation.
“Over the past several years, we have been working with Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago, Speaker of the House Denis Hastert, whose district includes Sugar Grove, present Governor George Blagojevich, past Governor James Thompson and hundreds of corporations. Their continued support of Rich Harvest Farms and their enthusiasm for the state of Illinois and their respective communities will help us stage one of the best events ever. The Solheim Cup and 2009 cannot get here soon enough.”
Rich Harvest Farms is also home to the Illinois Foundation for Hook A Kid On Golf—an official playing partner of LPGA-USGA Girls Golf—that teaches the fundamentals of the sport along with the rules, etiquette and history to more than 40,000 children in the surrounding area through park and recreation departments, schools and other organizations. Together with the LPGA, the Illinois Foundation for Hook A Kid On Golf will run The Solheim Cup. In addition, Rich has already pledged that his half of the revenues generated from The Solheim Cup will benefit Hook A Kid On Golf.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this incredible event,” said Holly Alcala, program director for the Illinois Foundation for Hook A Kid On Golf. “It is a dream come true for many of us. We understand that The Solheim Cup will impact our local programs and the thousands of kids involved, not only in 2009, but quite possibly for the rest of their lives. Rich Harvest Farms and Mr. Rich are extremely deserving of this honor. His dedication to junior golf, our kids and the community is truly inspiring. We can’t wait to showcase what Rich Harvest Farms and Hook A Kid On Golf are all about.”
Praise for Rich Harvest Farms is not hard to find. LPGA Tour and World Golf Halls of Fame member Beth Daniel, who has competed in seven Solheim Cups, is already looking forward to the 2009 event.
“I am excited to hear that Rich Harvest Farms has been selected as the venue for the 2009 Solheim Cup,” said Daniel. “It is a fantastic facility and one of the best golf courses I have ever played. Players are the finest from the United States and Europe, and this course will challenge them to bring their best game.”
“People can read about Rich Harvest Farms and see how it is quickly becoming one of the nation’s new gems, but until you get out there on those hills and see those lagoons, you have no idea of how demanding the course is. You gain a whole new appreciation for it,” said Mark Rolfing, who recently played the course four times and is a longtime NBC Sports golf commentator who has covered numerous major championships including the U.S. Open and the Ryder Cup.
“It is a very challenging but fair setup, and one that will make for great match play because of the inordinate number of risk and reward situations. The ladies and fans alike will certainly enjoy the course no matter what the outcome of their team is.”
About The Solheim Cup
Sponsored by PING golf equipment, The Solheim Cup is named in honor of the company’s founder, Karsten Solheim, and his family. The Solheim Cup is the most prestigious team event in women’s professional golf. It is a biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition featuring the best U.S.-born players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) and the best European-born players from the Robe di Kappa Ladies European Tour (LET).
The U.S. Team leads the competition, 5-3, but Europe has won three of the four events held overseas and in 2003 regained the Cup they lost in 2002.
The U.S. Team has never lost on home soil and will be looking to bring the Cup home in 2005. The 2005 Solheim Cup will be played Sept. 9-11 at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., while the 2007 Solheim Cup will return to Sweden and be played at Halmstad Golf Club.
For more information, log on to www.SolheimCup.com