Germany is bidding to host golf's premier team event, the Ryder Cup, for the first time. In an exclusive interview with the director of the bid, Marco Kaussler, DW asked why Germany and golf would make a good match.
DW: What would it mean for the sport of golf in Germany to get the Ryder Cup 2022?
Marco Kaussler: If we got the chance to host the 2022 Ryder Cup, it would mean a lot for Germany and the sport of golf here. With Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer, we've had two fantastic ambassadors over the last twenty or thirty years and we have almost 700,000 golfers in Germany. But having this flagship event in 2022 would do a lot of good things for the sport in Germany and get more people interested in the game. It would be amazing to have this mega event [at the AROSA Resort in Bad Saarow] near Berlin.
Why the Berlin Sporting Club in Bad Saarow? The last time Germany went for the Ryder Cup, it was with a club that didn't exist yet. This is an actual existing club. Was that part of the thinking in picking the venue?
Absolutely. I think it's important to showcase a real course with a real infrastructure. We have a fantastic course designed by Sir Nick Faldo who's willing to redesign it so that it can accommodate up to 50,000 people a day. We have two hotels on site. It's a fantastic area and resort in which to host such an event.
Okay, make your pitch. What are the advantages of holding this event in Germany and in the Berlin area in particular?
Given the history of Berlin as the capital of Germany, it would be amazing to hold the opening ceremony in front of the Brandenburg Gate. That would showcase Germany in the best way and Berlin as a destination for people coming from so many countries, especially our guests and friends from America. I think that makes it an ideal city. Together with Sir Nick Faldo's course outside the city, I think it's the perfect setting for the bid.
The decision will be made in late September or early October. So how do you think the chances look? Where does Germany stand in relation to its three competitors?
We're competing with Austria, Italy and Spain. Spain had the Ryder Cup before in 1997, and it's the first attempt for Italy and Austria. Germany has a strong economy and a good golf market with 700,000 golfers and over 700 clubs. So giving this flagship event to Germany would be good for the game of golf. Considering the economic impact and financial support from German companies, it would be a wise decision by Ryder Cup Europe to grant us the competition.
Do you think the fact that Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006 and the tournament was such a success will help?
Absolutely. For us Germans, it was the most amazing sporting period in our lives. No one can take that away from us. I think it showed the world that Germans can not only be good organizers, but great hosts too. It would be a great honor for Germany to have the Ryder Cup as well.
Marco Kaussler is the Executive Director of Ryder Cup Germany.