Ryder Cup not coming to Bolton after golf course plans rejected

Councillors have voted against proposals for a housing development which aimed to bring the Ryder Cup to Hulton Park in Bolton.

USA's Zach Johnson, who is expected to be named the next Ryder Cup captain.
USA's Zach Johnson, who is expected to be named the next Ryder Cup captain.

Revised plans to develop the 800-acre site in Greater Manchester were scrutinised by Bolton Council’s planning committee on Thursday.

Richard Knight of Peel L&P, who are behind the £200m project, had called on the council to “seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity and support our efforts”.

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However, councillors voted to refuse the application by a margin of 15 to 1, leaving the London Club in Kent as the frontrunner for England’s bid to stage the biennial contest between Europe and the United States in 2031.

Local resident Phil Wood spoke out against the proposal, describing it as a “housing project in golf’s clothing” and claiming it would result in a “lame duck golf course” once the three days of Ryder Cup competition were over.

Planning committee chairman John Walsh proposed refusing the application, citing the impact on the green belt land on which the venue would have been built.

The next two ‘home’ Ryder Cups will be held at Marco Simone Golf and Country Club in Rome in 2023 and Adare Manor in Ireland in 2027.

A decision on the 2031 venue is expected in July.

A spokesperson for Ryder Cup Europe said: “We have received considerable interest in staging future editions of the Ryder Cup from several countries and venues across Europe.

“Discussions with all interested parties will continue in the months ahead before any decision and announcement is made.”

The US will name their 2023 Ryder Cup captain next week, with Zach Johnson tipped to succeed Steve Stricker in the role.

The PGA of America has announced a press conference for Monday to reveal the identity of the man who will be charged with retaining the trophy at Marco Simone Golf Club in Italy.

The United States have not won the Ryder Cup on European soil since 1993, but stormed to a record 19-9 victory at Whistling Straits last year, with all 12 of their team ranked inside the world’s top 21 at the time.

Johnson played in the Ryder Cup five times and was only on the winning side in his final appearance in 2016.

The two-time major champion celebrates his 46th birthday today.