As the European Tour returns this week to Le Golf National a bit more than a year after the 2018 Ryder Cup, Iain Carter considers what has happened to past hosts of the European Tour’s breadmaker.
To put it bluntly: host a Ryder Cup, and they move on. Which normally should not mean much, except that the European Tour packages the event with normal tour stops.
Not that many fans or players are longing for more golf tournaments at most of the venues, which bought their way onto the international stage. But it’s still remarkable to see how quickly so many of the once-vaunted locales either no longer host events, or become lesser stops. In the case of this week’s French Open, once a Rolex Series event, the field’s headliners are Martin Kaymer, Jose Maria Olazabal, Thomas Bjorn and Jamie Donaldson.
But about those past venues, Carter writes:
The Belfry hosted the Ryder Cup on four occasions between 1985 and 2002 and whatever you think of the course, which does have its critics, the layout in the English midlands became a big part of the fabric of European golfing history.
But the Brabazon Course has not staged a Tour event since the 2008 British Masters. Celtic Manor in south Wales disappeared from the schedule in 2014, four years after its Ryder Cup.
The K Club, which hosted the 2006 match in County Kildare, was the continuous home of the European Open between 1995 and 2007. It then disappeared from the calendar other than in 2016 when it held the Irish Open.
Gleneagles staged the 2018 European Team Championships and this year's Solheim Cup but its deal to hold tour events expired the year before putting on the 2014 Ryder Cup.
Only Valderrama (1997 Ryder Cup) in southern Spain has remained a regular stop for the continent's leading players in the wake of holding one of the biennial jousts between Europe and the US.
A similar fate likely awaits Rome’s 2022 Ryder Cup venue, currently undergoing a renovation despite rumblings that a host role was in jeopardy.
Meanwhile at least the Old Course is hosting the 2023 Walker Cup!