Ladies European Tour
The 2023 Solheim Cup will be the final link of a cycle that began with the designation of the “Costa del Golf” in 1997. The name was coined in the lead up to that year’s historic Ryder Cup at Valderrama, with signs appearing along the coast declaring, “Costa del Sol-Costa del Golf”.
Twenty-five years later, the Costa is home to 70 golf courses, the most of any similar-sized region in Europe, extending for 120 kilometres from the Axarquía area east of Málaga city to Sotogrande – actually in Cádiz province but customarily grouped under the Costa del Sol moniker by local tourism authorities.
In the intervening (and preceding) years, the area has hosted an impressive calendar of international tournaments, including the World Cup, World Golf Championship and numerous European Tour (now known as the DP World Tour) events. Plus, most notably in recent years, the Ladies European Tour.
Now, in just under a year, it will be the LET in the global spotlight when Finca Cortesín is the venue for the Solheim Cup. Like the Ryder Cup back in 1997, it will be the first time Spain has hosted the biennial match between Europe and the United States and, in a sense, this completes the cycle for the Costa del Golf – especially with the event appropriately being held just down the highway from Valderrama.
Post-2023 will essentially be the dawn of a new era for this flagship European golfing destination, as a fully-consolidated natural international home for both the men’s and the women’s professional tour golfing elites.
Tickets on Sale
In the meantime, however, travelling golfers have the opportunity of being first-hand spectators of this historic new milestone on the Costa del Sol. The respective team captains have already been named, players are determinedly embarking on their respective journeys to potential team selections, and tickets are now on sale (firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel. +34 95 247484) for the Cup match, to be held during the week of 18-24 September.
Solheim Cup History
Named after Norwegian-American golf club manufacturer Karsten Solheim, a driving force behind its creation, the Solheim Cup was inaugurated in 1990 at Lake Nona in Florida. It is a biennial match play competition pitting the Ladies European Tour’s top 12 players against the 12 best US players from the LPGA Tour.
The event was held in even-numbered years until 2002, alternating with the men’s Ryder Cup equivalent, but switched to odd-numbered years (beginning in 2003) after the 2001 Ryder Cup was postponed due to the 11 September terrorist attacks. COVID-19 prompted another reshuffle in 2020, with the Ryder Cup being held in 2021 and 2023, and the Solheim Cup returning in 2024 after its 2023 edition in Spain.
The US team won the first Solheim Cup in 1990, and currently hold a 10-7 advantage, although Europe are the defending champions after their 15-13 victory at Inverness Club in Ohio last year.
Leading the teams for the 2023 Cup will be Norwegian Suzann Pettersen, who retired as a professional after holing the winning putt for the Europeans in the 2019 Solheim Cup at Gleneagles, and Stacy Lewis, who competed in all four Solheim Cups from 2011 to 2017
In 2024, the event will move to the Robert Trent Jones Club in Gainesville (Virginia).
Finca Cortesín already has a global tour – and championship match play – pedigree. Located near the coast in Casares municipality (between Marbella and Sotogrande), the club hosted the 2009, 2011 and 2012 Volvo World Match Play Championships.
The course was designed by Cabell B. Robinson, an American who once worked for Robert Trent Jones before basing himself on the Costa del Sol and becoming one of the area’s most prolific and highly respected golf course architects.
He is currently working with the Finca Cortesín team to make minor changes to the course, specifically for the Solheim Cup, including re-routing some of the holes.
In addition to the stunningly picturesque course, the Finca Cortesín resort includes a Jack Nicklaus Academy, elegantly appointed clubhouse amenities, a luxurious avant-garde hotel, restaurants offering a diverse selection of gourmet cuisine, a fitness and racquet club, and a beach club one kilometre away.
Premier Tourist Destination
Golf enthusiasts making the trip to the Costa del Sol in September 2023 will not only be able to enjoy watching top international action on Finca Cortesín’s meticulously manicured fairways, but also be able to play golf themselves at one or more of the area’s 70 courses.
For après golf leisure and relaxation, the Costa del Sol has several Michelin-star restaurants, chic beach clubs and spas, and other high-end state-of-the-art sports amenities and gyms, located in both modern urban centres and rustic mountain “white villages” such as Casares itself.
It is also conveniently located for those who would like to explore further afield, to Málaga city (recognised as one of Europe’s most enchanting cultural hubs) and other venerable Andalucía cities including Granada, Córdoba and Sevilla.
Madrid is just a two and a half hour journey from Málaga on the high-speed AVE train, and Portugal’s Algarve region is a leisurely half-day drive away and also home to numerous first-class golf courses.
The Costa del Sol is well-connected throughout its 100 kilometres-plus of coastline and mountain hinterland. This means visitors can stay close by the Solheim Cup venue in Sotogrande or opt for a hotel in one of the major towns to the east (Marbella, Estepona, Mijas, Fuengirola or Benalmádena). Or even enjoy a longer “commute” to Finca Cortesín from Ronda, Alhaurín or Antequera.
If you are looking for a hotel or other accommodation option coinciding with next year’s Solheim Cup – or at any other time of the year – contact us at email@example.com or Tel. +34 95 247484.
El espectacular ambiente que generalmente vive el primer hoyo de una competición como la Solheim Cup, se asegura aún más en Finca Cortesín, con el “nuevo” hoyo 1 que el campo prepara para la ocasión.
Se buscaba espacio para público y emoción desde el primer golpe y el actual hoyo 4 reunía todas las condiciones. De esta manera, el “nuevo” hoyo 1 de la Solheim Cup 2023 será un par 4 elevado de 256 metros, con un gran lago en la parte izquierda que llega hasta la entrada del green, una calle estrecha y bien protegida, y un green amplio pero movido.
El campo prepara ya los cambios necesarios al recorrido para esta modificación al orden de juego. Stacey Lewis, la capitana estadounidense, ha tenido ocasión de comprobar las características del nuevo hoyo 1 de Finca Cortesín y no dudó en alabar su elección: “Creo que nunca hemos tenido un hoyo 1 como éste en la Solheim Cup. Se puede llegar a green pero el agua entra bastante en juego”.
Así mismo, Lewis también destacó la forma del tee de este hoyo, ya que “es como un anfiteatro, las gradas van a estar en alto, prácticamente encima de ti, lo que hará que se sienta al público muy cerca. Sin duda, es un gran hoyo para la Solheim Cup”, finalizó.
Later this year Marbella-born Azahara Muñoz will be be returning to the scene of one of the most cherished moments in her career. The Ladies European Tour has just announced that the 2020 Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España will be played at Royal Guadalmina Golf Club from 26-29 November.
It was at Guadalmina where a young Azahara learnt to play the game before becoming an international star, and US LPGA Tour champion, and also the club where she won a second consecutive Spanish Women’s Open crown in 2017.
The previous year, at nearby Aloha Golf, Muñoz became the first Spanish women’s golfer to win her home Open. She also finished second behind Dutchwoman Anne Van Dam in the 2018 edition at La Quinta, and was joint fourth when the event returned to Aloha in 2019, also being won by Van Dam.
This year’s Andalucía Costa del Sol Open de España will be the final tournament of the 2020 Ladies European Tour, offering a €600,000 prize fund (double last year’s total) and setting the scene for an exciting finale of the Race to Costa del Sol (the new LET order of merit).