Left to right – Roland Specker, Dietmar Hopp, Hans Joachim Nothelfer, Eicko Schulz-Hanßen
A high-class panel with Dietmar Hopp, owner and president of the hosting Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, Roland Specker, Non-Executive Director Ladies European Tour (LET) and Hans Joachim Nothelfer, president of the German Golf Association (DGV) has been presenting some important information about The 2015 Solheim Cup in Germany. The roundtable gave an impressive “look behind the scenes” of the world´s most important women´s golf tournament. One of the main reasons that Dietmar Hopp is hosting The 2015 Solheim Cup at the venue is to ignite euphoria, especially among young people. “If finally, a player from the region becomes part of Team Europe, it would be absolutely fabulous,” Hopp says, enthusiastically.
For the first time, the PING Junior Solheim Cup will be taking place at the same venue, demonstrating St. Leon-Rot’s passion to work with boys and girls, whilst at the same time helping them to develop their golfing skills and talents.
“We more than happily agreed on this term, to arrange the Junior Solheim Cup at the same club, which was a prerequisite of St. Leon-Rot while negotiating the contract,” commented Roland Specker, on this particular win-win situation. “St. Leon-Rot is not only a role model for youth work in Germany but also across Europe. Moreover, when selecting the ideal venue we were looking for solid partners who bring in their passion and commitment. All of this we find here, perfectly fitting together.”
The close cooperation between the German Golf Association (DGV) and St. Leon-Rot Golf Club, which has lasted for more than a decade now, culminates in arranging The Solheim Cup. “We are already closely working together organising the German Boys and Girls Open, the Girls Team European Championship this year and the new DGV high performance centre here in St. Leon-Rot,” said Hans Joachim Nothelfer. “Now we continue this close cooperation by arranging The 2015 Solheim Cup. We will intensively discuss the exact assignment of tasks during the next few weeks and months.”
Left to right – Klaus Wäschle (Moderator), Roland Specker, Dietmar Hopp, Hans Joachim Nothelfer, Eicko Schulz-Hanßen
Exciting times lie ahead for international golf. Only one year after The Solheim Cup, golf will return to The Olympic Games in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, with the prospect of an Olympic medallist having teed off in St. Leon-Rot. “This is an incredible piece of luck, especially because our complete structure of youth support is aiming for the ‘vision of gold’ and a high likeliness of an Olympic medal at the games 2016 or 2020,” continued Nothelfer. Anticipation of The Solheim Cup is already rising and the list of European competitors as it stands today would include Caroline Masson from Gladbeck, who already practises at St. Leon-Rot.
The first steps for planning The Solheim Cup are already under way. “We are convinced that we can at least achieve a cost-neutral organisation of the Solheim Cup in the end,” Hopp adds, firmly. Another target for the biggest ever golf event to take place in Germany is a new record number of spectators. Some 25,000 spectators are expected on each of the three match days, as well as 15,000 spectators on each practise day so the organisers are optimistic about reaching the magic number of 100,000. “There’s a really good chance: with approximately 40 per cent of German golfers being women, this represents the greatest proportion of female golfers of any country in Europe. Additionally, Deutsche Golf Sport GmbH, a daughter company of DGV, runs one of our most important tournaments: the Ladies German Open on the Ladies European Tour, attracting about 35,000 spectators, which is therefore one of our best-visited tournaments,” Specker explained. The expected number of spectators makes high demands on the infrastructure and site, which also has to meet the high requirements.
“From our perspective, the course at St. Leon more than meets these requirements and it is predestined for some thrilling matches with its many deep bunkers, water hazards and undulated greens. What is still to be decided is the order in which the holes will be played, which hugely depends on the positioning of the hospitality areas,” said Eicko Schulz Hanßen, managing director of Golf Club St. Leon-Rot and vice president of DGV.
For more information, contact:
About The Solheim Cup www.solheimcup.com
The Solheim Cup combines the tradition and prestige of the game of golf with passion for one’s country. This biennial, trans-Atlantic team match-play competition features the best U.S.-born players from the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) Tour and the best European members from the Ladies European Tour (LET).
The Solheim Cup is named in honor of Karsten Solheim, the founder of Karsten Manufacturing Corporation, which makes PING golf equipment. In 1990, the Solheim family, in conjunction with the LPGA and the LET, developed the concept and became the title sponsor for The Solheim Cup, professional golf’s international match-play competition for women. Held every two years, the event has grown into the most prestigious international women’s professional golf team event. The Solheim Cup is the most highly coveted trophy in women’s professional golf team competition; some of the most memorable moments in the sport have happened during one of The Solheim Cups, and berths on the U.S. and European teams are highly sought after by players from both organizations. In addition to founding sponsor PING, Rolex is also a Global Partner of The Solheim Cup.
The 2013 Solheim Cup will take place Aug. 13-18 at Colorado Golf Club in Parker, Colo. The European Team enters the competition holding the Cup and will need 14 points to retain it, with the U.S. Team needing 14½ points to regain the coveted Waterford Crystal prize. The U.S. team holds an 8-4 lead in the matches, which began in 1990.
The 2015 Solheim Cup will take place at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot nr Heidelberg Germany a European Tour Destination venue www.gc-slr.de
For more information about The Solheim Cup and updated standings for each team, log on to www.solheimcupeurope.com, ladieseuropeantour.com.
About Golf Club St. Leon-Rot
The club, founded in 1996, has two 18-hole championship courses which have both already been venues for the Deutsche Bank SAP Open, a professional tournament on the PGA European Tour. Tiger Woods won the tournament in 1999, 2001 and 2002. The two courses, ‘St. Leon’ and ‘Rot’, have both received multiple accolades from the specialist press. The Rot championship course, for example, won the sought-after Golf Journal Travel Award nine times in a row up to 2010, as ‘Germany’s most popular golf course’. In 2011 and 2012 the award went to the St. Leon course. In 2000 Golf Magazin named Fairway 9 on the ‘Rot’ course one of the ‘Top 500 Holes in the World’. The club also has a 9-hole short course and a 5-hole ‘bambini’ course. There are also spacious, high-quality practice areas available in the form of a driving range, an innovative video training centre, and various pitching, chipping and putting greens. In 2011 the large, innovative Allianz Indoor Short Game Center of Excellence was opened; this now allows the club’s key players to practise all year round. The club is also known for its outstanding position in the field of German amateur golf. For years, an exemplary, systematic youth development scheme has formed the basis for sporting success. Thus St. Leon-Rot produced the German men’s team champions for seven years in a row from 2004 to 2010. There was also one European Championship win. The women’s team boasts five German championships and five European Champion titles. On top of all this, the players Stephan Gross (2008) and Sophia Popov (2010) took home an Individual European Championship title. A key role in St. Leon-Rot’s rise to become one of Germany’s best golf clubs is played by club president Dietmar Hopp, a co-founder of the Walldorf software corporation SAP.