An extraordinary celebration event, called “One Year To Go”, marked the start of the countdown to the 2023 Solheim Cup coming to Spain for the first time. There is only one year left until the most important women’s golf competition in the world comes to Finca Cortesín, Málaga, from 22 to 24 September 2023.
To highlight the 365 day countdown until the European and US teams to meet on the Costa del Sol, 365 children from schools across Andalusia met at Puerto Banús in Marbella (Málaga) to perform the “Longest Swing”.
The young golfers took their places and formed a huge multicoloured wave by hitting an approach shot into the sea with totally biodegradable balls.
Afterwards, the captain of the European Solheim Cup team, Suzann Pettersen, arrived by helicopter and, with the magnificent tournament trophy in her hands, greeted each and every one of the children.
A few hours earlier, an exhibition match took place on the new opening hole at Finca Cortesín, where Suzann Pettersen challenged the model and actor Andrés Velencoso and the guitarist of the group D’Vicio Alberto González, “Missis”, while the ambassadors of the tournament recreated the great atmosphere of the Solheim Cup.
The European captain highlighted the design of hole one, perfect for an event like the Solheim Cup and wished it to be “a very noisy hole, with all the Spanish passion cheering on the European team”.
Vicente Rubio, general manager of Finca Cortesín, recalled how the LET “honoured us naming us as the venue for the 2023 Solheim Cup and since then, our team has been working to make it a success. And over the next 12 months we will continue in this line of improvements to guarantee both players and fans a unique and unforgettable experience”.
This moment concluded with a tribute to Raquel Carriedo, the first Spaniard to play in a Solheim Cup and who shared with all those present her memories of that historic experience in 2000.
The celebrations of this “One Year To Go” had three official countdowns, one in each of the municipalities involved in the organisation of the Solheim Cup 2023: Benahavís, Casares and Marbella.
The Mayor of Benahavís, José Antonio Mena, was in attendance, accompanied by Pablo Mansilla, President of the Royal Andalusian Golf Federation.
“We have been fighting for a long time for the arrival of this tournament in Spain and Andalusia, and now there is only one year to go. Once again, Andalusia will once again be the world epicentre of golf and women’s sport thanks to the Solheim Cup,” said Mansilla.
“The golf industry is perhaps the most important industry in Benahavis and therefore, from the first moment we have wanted to be part of the Solheim Cup, and this commitment will bring numerous benefits, both to our municipality and to the entire Costa del Sol,” said Mena.
José Carrasco, Mayor of Casares, said he was “very proud to be able to offer our innumerable tourist resources and I am convinced that the Solheim Cup will mark a before and after for our municipality and for Andalusia”.
Manuel Cardeña, Deputy Mayor of Marbella and CEO of Acosol, stressed that “the arrival of the Solheim Cup for the first time in Spain, and more specifically on the Costa del Sol, offers us a great opportunity to strengthen our position as a tourist destination and to be the epicentre of world golf in 365 days, something we have to take advantage of”.
Cardeña was accompanied by Arturo Bernal, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport of the Junta de Andalucía; Francisco Salado, President of the Diputación de Málaga; and Margarita del Cid, Vice President of the Diputación de Málaga, among other personalities such as Alan Solheim, representative of the firm that gives its name to the tournament, and people from the Ladies European Tour (LET), the Royal Spanish Golf Federation and Deporte & Bussines, the organising company.
Arturo Bernal was in charge of bringing to a close a marathon programme of events that has focused on the arrival of the Solheim Cup in Spain in just 12 months. “The celebration of the Solheim Cup next year will allow Andalusia to demonstrate once again that we are the best destination in Europe for the organisation and development of major sporting events in general and golf in particular,” he concluded.
The Solheim Cup 2023, an event of exceptional public interest whose official venue is Finca Cortesin, is sponsored by PING, Costa del Sol and Rolex as global partners; and by the Consejería de Turismo, Cultura y Deporte de la Junta de Andalucía, with co-financing from the European Union, Acosol, the Marbella Town Hall and the Benahavís Town Hall as official partners, and Reale Seguros as official sponsor. Solán de Cabras, Eversheds Sutherland, Casares Town Hall, Toro, Vithas, E-Z-GO and Jet Set Sports are official suppliers. Marca and Radio Marca are official media. Promoted and organised by Deporte & Business. LET, LPGA, RFEG, CSD and RFGA collaborate in its organisation.