An annual Ryder Cup would "dilute" the event

Richard Hills the Ryder Cup Director for Ryder Cup Europe was speaking in Dublin

BY Daniel Kelly 12:04 Wednesday 19 October 2016, 12:04 19 Oct 2016

European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke holds the Ryder Cup trophy alongside Ryder Cup director Richard Hills (left), and George O'Grady, (right) former Chief Executive of the European Tour. Picture by John Walton PA Archive/PA Images

The Ryder Cup concluded earlier this month, but work is already well underway for the 2018 matches in Paris at Le Golf National.

Richard Hills, the Ryder Cup Director for Ryder Cup Europe was in Dublin earlier this month, speaking at the ‘Reflections on Ryder Cup 2016’ event. Hills told Off the Ball's Dave McIntyre what his role consists of during the two-year cycle.

"It's the administration behind the whole match, both home and away for the European team. Under Keith Pelley, I'm responsible of the delivery of the match to our captain. I take everything through from the uniforms, to the transportation, to the hotel accommodations, getting involved with the media. It's the whole gambit of the operations behind the scenes."

Despite the heavy workload involved in preparing for the event, Hills admitted that organising the team for a Ryder Cup on American soil is not as difficult as many may expect.

"With the PGA of America, we have a very good, close working relationship over a number of years. We tend to help each other with things that are logistical. It's easier for them to organise something for us in the States, and vice-versa."

Ireland last hosted the event in 2006, when The K Club hosted the nine-point win for Europe. With Paris hosting the event in 2018, and Rome taking over duties in 2022, the earliest the event could return to Ireland is in 2026, the 20th anniversary of it's first hosting of the event.

Royal Lytham & St Annes was the last European links course to host the event. That took place in 1977, meaning it will be at least a minimum of 49 years before it returns to a links course.

Hills feels that Le Golf National will prove as astute substitution. "You will find an inland links. It's a superb golf course which truly resembles a links golf course."

After the success of the Hazeltine event, calls have been made to make the matches an annual event. Hills cannot see that happening as it would "dilute the value of the rarity of it every two years".

Dave spoke to Richard Hills in the Shelbourne Hotel at the ‘Reflections on Ryder Cup 2016’ event hosted by Carr Golf, who celebrate 27 years in luxury golf travel, golf club maintenance and management, and advisory services. 


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