Adapted from Jason Dill, Bradenton Herald
The highly touted The Concession Golf Club in Bradenton, Fla., a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course designed in association with Tony Jacklin and named for one of the most iconic moments in Ryder Cup history, is one of three finalists to host the 2017 Solheim Cup, LPGA communications executive Kraig Kann confirmed.
Kann said the final decision is expected this fall.
The Solheim Cup is the women’s equivalent to the Ryder Cup, and The Concession would be adding its biggest tournament to date. Already, the course has hosted the Big Ten Match Play Championship and Callaway Collegiate Match Play, and earned the bid for the NCAA Division I Men’s and Women’s National Championship in 2015.
"Our team was out there within the last 10 days to scout the venue," Kann said (in June). "… That’s where we’re at with it at this point."
The course’s high rating isn’t the lone factor that goes into the decision-making process.
Other factors include potential logistical obstacles for a community to host a prized event. That means the need for adequate hotels, concession stands, parking and the other amenities associated with major-tournament golf.
"It’s an entire community that gets involved in the process," said Kann, who added he’s not on the committee nor was on site at the Concession when officials reviewed the venue recently. "It’s the ability to have volunteers. …Space is a huge issue for holding an event of that magnitude on a golf course."
Kann said the tournament regularly draws at least 100,000 people. Those fans aren’t just local, either. They come from around the country as well as from Europe and the rest of the world.
The 2013 Solheim Cup is scheduled for August in Denver. It then shifts to Europe in 2015, before returning to the United States two years later. Selecting the 2017 host site isn’t likely to occur until after this summer’s tournament schedule concludes.
With its nearby beaches, Florida atmosphere, and championship golf, The Concession fits the bill.
The Concession Golf Club was founded to commemorate the extraordinary gesture of sportsmanship that Jack Nicklaus made at the 1969 Ryder Cup at Royal Birkdale, when he conceded a 2-foot putt to Britain’s Tony Jacklin to halve their match, which resulted in the first-ever tie in the history of the matches. The moment became known as "the concession," and it is widely regarded as one of history’s greatest acts of sportsmanship.
Jacklin provided input to Nicklaus on the design of the club that opened for play in 2006 and was voted by Golf Digest as the Best New Private Course in America.