Wednesday, 26 April 2023, 22:07
This year's Solheim Cup 2023 will be the biggest golfing event on the Costa del Sol since the 1997 Ryder Cup, and the event organiser, Alicia Garrido, joined members of the Costa Press Club this week to talk to them about what goes on behind the scenes in the run-up to such a tournament, and the years of work entailed in bringing it to Spain. The setting for the gathering was the Andalucía Lab in Marbella.
Media professionals at the meeting who might have been expecting a standard speech about preparations for a sporting event were treated to an impassioned and entertaining account of the challenges faced by Alicia's organisation (Deporte & Business), her determination in the face of three failed attempts to bring the Solheim Cup to the Costa del Sol, the bias of sponsors towards men's sporting events, and how she had to resort to fundraising from her own home during the pandemic.
Alicia also talked about her own background and her pride in her father Antonio Garrido's sporting achievements, which include playing in the first ever Ryder Cup to involve players from Continental Europe, in 1979. She went on to stress the huge economic impact that hosting the event will have on the Costa del Sol. Tickets to the tournament are selling fast, with only 20 per cent going to buyers in Spain, and a large increase in American visitors already being seen. As an aside, Alicia pointed out that women's golf in general has the advantage of attracting whole families to the area, with a consequent increase in spending outside the golf clubs, whereas men are more likely to travel with groups of other male golfers.
Press club members and guests then adjourned to continue the discussion over drinks and tapas provided by the Delicias Gourmet Group, one of Marbella's best known names for high quality delicatessen products.
The Andalucía Lab in Marbella is a centre under the auspices of the Junta de Andalucía which offers tourism and technology innovation services, including personalised consultations for business professionals in the tourism sector.
The Solheim Cup golf tournament is scheduled to take place at the Finca Cortesín course from September 22nd to 24th, with the Ping Junior Solheim Cup beforehand at La Zagaleta on the 18th and 19th.
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