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    by Holly Freeland

    Next September 19-21, the eyes of the golf world will desc/files/storyimages/upon our great city of




    Valhalla Golf Club will be hosting the 37


    Ryder Cup and the event will serve as the largest international sporting event in


    history. Designed by Jack Nicklaus, Valhalla is consistently ranked in the top 75 courses in the

    United States



    has hosted the PGA championships in both 1996 and 2000.

    In 2002, it hosted the PGA Professional National Championship and also the 2004 Senior PGA Championship.

    But, an event like the Ryder Cup requires a long time in preparation and a great deal of organization.

    Announced on December 8, 2000 that


    would host this world-renowned event, anticipation and planning has been ongoing from that time until now.

    As the last stretch is here, caught up with Jeromy Manser, Tournament Manager, and Susan E. Kibelstis, Merchandise Program Manager for the 2008 Ryder Cup to see what their thoughts were so far, and what they expected for the event.




    Why was


    chosen as the site of the 2008 Ryder Cup?


    Golf Club challenges every aspect of the game and also presents enough space to host an event of this magnitude.

    As for


    , their support of events in this city is second to none!


    In terms of preparations for the event, what special things needed to be done?

    A few changes were made to the course such as reshaping greens, lengthening holes and clearing trees for spectator visibility.

    A number of changes were also made to create space for parking, corporate villages, merchandise tents, etc.


    With the Cup less than a year away, what are your biggest challenges from this point on?

    Our biggest challenges at this point are going to revolve around the planning for the building and the operations of the event. This includes everything from scheduling 3,500 volunteers to building access roads on the course to determining where signage will go out on the course. It’s a huge undertaking. We are lucky in that we have had such an overwhelming response to our volunteer and corporate hospitality programs so a lot of the front /files/storyimages/work is already done.

    4. What have you found to be the most impressive part of


    as it relates to the Ryder Cup coming to town?

    Their support… whether it’s Corporate Hospitality, Tickets or Volunteers, they are ready to take this event under their wings and make it the best ever, and so far it looks like we’re headed in that direction!


    How familiar will both the European and US teams be to the course




    has hosted two previous PGA Championships, some of both the American and European players have played the course before. However, with all the renovations that have been done to the course, I think it may be unrecognizable to them. Typically, each team visits the host site prior to the start of the Ryder Cup to acclimate themselves to the course and to encourage team bonding and we expect them to do the same in 2008.


    Outside of the Ryder Cup, what are your thoughts about


    in general



    is an incredibly welcoming city. Most people are very friendly and so generous when it comes to helping newcomers become acclimated. It’s also a city that knows how to have a good time!

    From the number of art galleries to museums to live music venues, the city has everything anyone could want. To top that off, it’s so easy to find out what is going on at each place at any one time through the local websites, radio stations and newspapers.

    Quick Hits:


    Ticket Availability at this point?

    SOLD OUT with the exception of limited Corporate Hospitality opportunities.

    2. Hotel Accommodations?

    Extremely limited.

    3. Tips for travelers or fans?

    Make your plans early and enjoy an incredible week!

    4. How many people do you all expect to have over the 6-day period?

    Approximately 40,000/day.

    A Ryder Cup is a once in a lifetime event for most people so, if someone has the opportunity to attend, they’re coming!

    5. If people want to see part of the action, do you have any suggestions or tips for them?

    A lot of the local bars will be sponsoring events during the week. Ryder Cup is a lot like March Madness. There’s so much action going on at one time and the momentum of the matches can change at any minute. There’s nothing like getting together with friends to cheer on your favorite team!




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