Battle for 2018 Ryder Cup hots up


Battle for 2018 Ryder Cup hots up
Sean Dudley

The competition to host the 2018 Ryder Cup heated up last week when the Portuguese Golf Federation launched its bid to win the event.

Portugal’s bid, based round the Herdade da Comporta resort development on the coast of the Alentejo region, south of Lisbon, calls for the matches to be contested on an as-yet unbuilt course being designed by Tom Fazio’s firm in collaboration with European Golf Design. It will be Fazio’s first course in Europe. Herdade da Comporta, a project said to be worth €1 billion, will also have a second course, to be designed by Scottish architect David McLay Kidd. Comporta is also planned to be a case study for the Golf Environment Organization’s Legacy sustainable development programme. 

“We entered the bidding process later than the other contenders but we genuinely believe we have come up with a proposal that the European Tour, the PGA and the PGA of Europe will find hard to discount,” said Miguel Franco de Sousa, CEO of the Portuguese Golf Federation.

“Our job, at this stage, is to make it difficult for the Ryder Cup authorities to ignore us and that’s exactly what we have done. The bid provides a trophy course which we are convinced will soon be regarded as the finest in Continental Europe and a resort which will be developed with environmental sustainability very much in mind. It’s also the only bid that will significantly affect the growth of the GDP of the host country.”

Herdade da Comporta is owned by the Espírito Santo Group, one of the largest corporations in Portugal and the owner of the country’s second largest private bank, Banco Espírito Santo. The Espírito Santo family has owned the 25,000 acre site for over half a century.

Elsewhere in Europe, four other countries are also bidding for the 2018 Ryder Cup. The French bid is centred around Le Golf National, the home of the country’s golf federation and for many years home to the French Open. Germany plans a new course, designed by architect Thomas Himmel, in the Munich area, while the Netherlands proposed to hold the event at The Dutch, the new 36-hole complex near Gorinchem in the centre of the country. And the Spanish bid involves the construction of a new course at Tres Cantos to the north of Madrid, which is being designed by Robin Hiseman of European Golf Design.