The first countdown clock was revealed on Wednesday afternoon in Benahavís. / JOSELE

The countdown for the 2023 Solheim Cup golf tournament begins in Marbella

In Puerto Banús some 365 children from different Andalusian golf clubs lined up to see who could drive the longest shot - with a biodegradable ball - into the ocean

JOAQUINA DUEÑAS / PEDRO LUIS ALONSO

The 2023 Solheim Cup, which will take place at the Finca Cortesín golf club in Casares, will begin on this weekend next year. To mark the occasion, Marbella, Casares and Benahavís organised the One Year To Go event to celebrate the tournament's debut on a Spanish golf course.

At 12pm on Wednesday, Benahavís town hall got the event going as mayor José Antonio Mena and the president of the Spanish Royal Golf Federation, Pablo Mansilla, unveiled a countdown clock that the Solheim Cup organisers had installed in the village.

An identical clock, which counts the days, hours and minutes until the tournament get under way, was also unveiled at Finca Cortesín in Casares.

Bio balls

In Marbella, 365 children from different Andalusian golf clubs lined up in at the dock in Puerto Banús and competed to see who could drive the longest shot into the ocean. The balls that were used, of a green colour, are biodegradable and will transform into food for the fish.

The climax of the day was the arrival of Suzann Pettersen, Team Europe's captain, and actor Andrés Velencoso on a helicopter, as they both carried the Solheim Cup from the vehicle before greeting the children.

The tournament

The Solheim Cup is a three-day, team-based tournament that serves as the female equivalent of the Ryder Cup. The competition, which is held every two years, will pit the 12 best European players from the Ladies European Tour (LET) against the 12 best Americans on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour (LPGA).

On the first day, eight foursome rounds are played; that is, golfers compete in pairs, using one ball each and alternating their shots until they complete the round.

The following day will see a four foursome being played in the morning; while the afternoon session will be four fourballs (two golfers compete together and they each play their own balls, with only the lowest score counting).

The final day will see 12 individual battles take place.