Ryder Cup will not take place in Catalonia as government rejects golf course expansion

PGA Caldes de Malavella resort's request to build third area denied for urbanism and drought  reasons

One of the golf courses of the Camiral Golf & Wellness in Caldes de Malavella that planned to host the 2031 Ryder Cup
One of the golf courses of the Camiral Golf & Wellness in Caldes de Malavella that planned to host the 2031 Ryder Cup / Courtesy of Camiral Golf & Wellness
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

August 1, 2023 12:45 PM

August 1, 2023 04:06 PM

Catalonia will not host the 2031 Ryder Cup in the end as the Catalan government rejected the request of the PGA Caldes de Malavella resort to build a third golf course and accommodations for tourists, among other constructions, Spanish newspaper El Periódico first reported and the Catalan News Agency (ACN) later confirmed.

PGA Caldes de Malavella was the golf resort chosen to host the international event if the Catalan candidacy was elected.

The first expansion project included a request to build 185 luxury villas and a third golf course, but the government rejected the idea.

In June, the project was modified to include an 18-cup golf course, a clubhouse, and 12,000 square meters of hotels or tourist apartments. The resort could have grown by 150 hectares, something Catalan authorities did not view favorably as doing so would "not respect the natural and agricultural characteristics of the area or the landscape," sources told ACN.

One of the government's other main concerns is the ongoing drought and the water required to maintain a new golf course. There are currently 92 golf courses across Catalonia.

Because of the requirements, the promoters of the 2031 Ryder Cup have decided not to choose the territory to host the event.

The government still favors hosting it but only using the courses already available instead of building a new one.

Caldes de Malavella golf resort
Caldes de Malavella golf resort / ACN

Authorities continue to "support such international competitions" and praise that in 2024, Barcelona will host the America's Cup, a sailing competition that brings a large economic impact on the Catalan capital.

In fact, the Catalan president, Pere Aragonès, backed the decision as "the bid sporting events that could be hosted in Catalonia should happen with all the already existing equipment and infrastructure," he said during a press conference from the Catalan government headquarters.

City council against government decision

Meanwhile, Salvador Balliu, the mayor of Caldes de Malavella, the municipality where Camiral Golf & Wellness is located, previously known as PGA, complained that the government had been confusing them during the last two years.

"Everyone backed the process to host this sporting event, the third largest one in the world, everyone but the government," Balliu told the Catalan News Agency (ACN).

One of the complaints of the city council is that the municipality was in favor of welcoming the Ryder Cup, which after the rejection by authorities, could be held in other sites, such as Madrid, which have already shown their interest.

Yes, but with third golf course

Supporters of the 2031 Ryder Cup will ask the organizers of the sporting event to host the competition with just two golf courses, as a statement reads while reminding that the tournament has the support of many private and public institutions.

These promoters also highlight the support of the Catalan government but only rejected a third course, which "would be watered with 100% recycled supplies," the text adds.

Considering the possible scenarios, they will now ask "the Ryder Cup championship to reconsider their plan and only use the existing infrastructure."