O'Grady: Euro Tour Developing Courses To Ensure Mundane Ryder Cup Venues Through End Of Century

Bloomberg news reports that:

"European Tour will buy or build golf courses to stage the Ryder Cup from 2018 to increase income from its most profitable event, chief executive George O'Grady has said."
The Tour has guaranteed that the matches, played alternately in the US and Europe every two years, will take place on mainland Europe from 2018 through 2030.

Here's your money quote...literally:

"In future, we'll either build courses ourselves or own them," the 57-year-old Englishman said. "We get cash from the Ryder Cup but we don't get a capital asset gain. In 2018 we'll own at least part of the venue."

Take that Tim Finchem!

Owning and operating the courses would allow the Tour to build and profit from onsite hotels, spas and other leisure facilities.

It could also develop and sell or rent private housing, while retaining income from club membership fees, conferences, exhibitions, retail and catering.

The owner of the K Club, which hosts this year's event, Michael Smurfit, said there's "no question or doubt" that the Ryder Cup has boosted the value of those assets.

The Tour doesn't own any of the K Club, the 2010 host the Celtic Manor Resort in Wales, or Scotland's Gleneagles, which will stage the 2014 contest.

Profit at this year's event may not reach the €14.8m it made four years ago because of extra security and other costs, Mr O'Grady said.

Tissue, anyone?

Revenue may rise to as much as €74m from €52m at the 2002 edition at the Belfry, Mr O'Grady said, declining to give his organisation's annual revenue.

The Tour retains 60pc of the profit, with the remainder split between the UK and European Professional Golfers' Associations.

The 2018 venue may be chosen by the last day of the 2010 edition, O'Grady said, giving the Tour enough time to build a new course if necessary.

"By then we reckon courses will need to be built in a certain way to take the number of spectators that will want to come," he said.

As opposed to now?