Glasgow and Berlin in partnership
Scotland to host first mixed golf tournament
Scotland will host the world’s first golfing tournament in which male and female players will compete against each other.
They will play in the inaugural European Golf Team Championships at Gleneagles in 2018.
The historic event, which will include a team and an individual format, forms part of the first multi-event European Sports Championships to be held in Glasgow and Berlin in a unique partnership with some of Europe’s top sports.
Backed by both the European Tour and the Ladies European Tour, the European Golf Team Championships will see men and women compete for their countries on the same course at the same time in top-level competition for the first time in the history of the sport.
The announcement was made following a meeting by the European Sports Championships 2018 Board where it was agreed gymnastics and golf would join the already impressive line-up of sports.
The European Sports Championships are being funded by The Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, with the EventScotland team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate leading on preparations for the golf event on behalf of Scotland.
Paul Bush, Director of Events with VisitScotland, said: “This is an historic day for golf, with the announcement that both men and women will play for their countries as part of the same competition for the first time.
“There is no more fitting place to host an inaugural event of this kind than in Scotland, the Home of Golf, where the sport was first invented and which, to this day, continues to hold the greatest events in the game.
“When the idea of a combined European Sports Championships was first mooted for Glasgow and Scotland, we were adamant that it should include a golf event for both men and ladies given our proud history and association with the sport and our reputation for equality. I am delighted that we were able to work with the European Tour, Ladies European Tour and the European Sports Championships to make this happen.
“The Gleneagles Hotel is a truly world-class venue, which has hosted many international golf events, including the hugely successful 2014 Ryder Cup, and there is no doubt it will do justice to the first-ever European Golf Team Championships.”
The Golf event will be staged over 5 days between 1-12 August 2018 and include men’s team, women’s team and mixed team competition in a Match Play format. Two male and female athletes per nation will participate, with the top 16 European nations included.
Gleneagles was chosen as the venue for the European Golf team championships thanks to its history of holding top-class events as well as its strong transport links to Glasgow as part of the wider European Sports Championships.
Bernard Murphy, managing director of The Gleneagles Hotel, said: “At Gleneagles we have a proud tradition of innovation within the game of golf, including hosting the very first match between British and American professionals back in 1921, sowing the first seeds of the event that went on to become The Ryder Cup.
“It is with great delight that we will be the host venue for yet another world-first in the European Golf Team Championships and we look forward to welcoming the teams and spectators in 2018.”
The European Sports Championships will attract a projected television audience of around 850 million, while Glasgow itself will be host city to four sports including cycling and swimming.
The governing bodies of some of the top European sports agreed to come together to create a strong new brand on the world stage to grow their television audiences and sponsorship opportunities. With more than 2,700 hours of programming across some of Europe’s biggest free-to-air broadcasters planned, the event will enjoy massive exposure across the continent.
To be staged in the summer of 2018, around 2900 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8,200 including officials, media and others. A further 1,500 athletes will compete in Berlin as part of the exciting new 10 to 12 day fixture on the world’s sporting calendar.
Funded jointly by the Scottish Government and Glasgow City Council, the new event will be run in partnership and allow Glasgow and Scotland to continue to build on the economic and sporting legacy achieved by staging the Commonwealth Games and The Ryder Cup in 2014. With a cultural, tourism and sporting partnership also planned with Berlin, Glasgow will be promoted across Europe as a tourist and business destination.
With sport now contributing more than £360m of added value to the Glasgow economy and tourism bringing £495m a year to the city, attracting events of this calibre has become key to the city’s economic success. As well as Glasgow’s businesses enjoying a direct economic impact of more than £200m over the period of the Commonwealth Games, around 5500 young people gained apprenticeships as part of Games legacy and sport now supports around 10,000 jobs in the city.
Swimming, involving nearly 900 athletes, will be staged at three venues with the main swimming event at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow and the diving and synchronised swimming at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh (below). The open water swimming competition is to be staged at Loch Lomond.
The four cycling competitions – track, road race, mountain-biking and BMX – will attract 650 of Europe’s top names to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails, the streets of Glasgow and a new BMX track to be built in the city. This is the first time all four cycling championships have been staged together.
Rowing and triathlon will see around 760 athletes compete at the world-class Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire.
Berlin will host the athletics at the Olympic Stadium.
Gleneagles photos by Terry Murden