Who can forget the Ryder Cup in Valderrama in 1997? Seve Ballesteros led his Europe side to a close 14 1/2 to 13 1/2 victory over Tom Kite’s USA. The course shimmered in the beautiful Spanish weather as Valderrama proved to be the real star of the show.
 
It was the only time, and still is the only time, that the Cup has been contested on the soil of continental Europe. But with the next two European based cups to be played in Wales at Celtic Manor (2010) and in Scotland at Gleneagles (2014), it has been planned that the competition will return to mainland Europe in 2018.
 
The chance to put a bid in for the tournment runs until April 2010, with an announcement of the winner coming in Spring of 2011.
 
It looks like the bidding will be a ferocious contest between some of the biggest golfing countries in Europe. Although the courses nominated are not yet known, France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden certainly have some outstanding tracks to pick from. 
 
The European Ryder Cup director, Richard Hills, said: “We have set the date by which bids must be received in order to provide each country with the optimum opportunity in the current economic climate to present their strongest possible bid.
 
“In setting the sporting and commercial criteria that will be used to assess bids, we have been quite clear that each country bid must be channelled through its national golf federation and that no bids from individual venues will be considered. Assuming that all necessary criteria are met, the 2018 Ryder Cup will be played in mainland Europe.
 
“We look forward to working with all six countries over the coming months as they develop their bids.”
 
Where now?
 
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