Golf: a European success story

Labour Party

With the EU coming under sustained criticism at the moment, I thought it would be good to reflect on an event at the European Parliament last week that celebrated Europeans coming together for sporting success.

The Ryder Cup and Solheim Cups were on display at the European Parliament last week as part  of “Golf: A European Success”.  Both cups are in European hands after respective victories over the United States at Medinah, Chicago, last September and Killeen Castle, Ireland, the previous year.

Golf is unique as the only major sport represented by European teams – men, women and amateurs. While success on the field of play represents the pinnacle in a sporting context, golf’s success can be felt far and wide throughout Europe.

From an economic perspective the golf industry contributes €15 billion to the European economy annually; from a social perspective 7.9 million Europeans play golf annually; and environmentally there are more than 6,000 courses in Europe, up to 70% of the area of which can be used for habitat creation.

Organised by the European Golf Association Golf Course Committee – a partnership of bodies across the golf industry including the European Golf Association, The R&A, The European Tour, European Golf Course Owners Association, PGAs of Europe, European Institute of Golf Course Architects, Federation of European Golf Greenkeepers Associations, Club Managers Association of Europe – the exhibition showcased golf’s sustainability.

A Nicholas with cups

Alison Nicholas, Solheim Cup European captain, with the Solheim and Ryder Cups at the European Parliament