The Turkish Golf Federation (TGF) has opted to withdraw its bid to host the 2022 Ryder Cup due to the impact hosting the event would have on the local environment surrounding its nominated venue.
Turkey had put forward the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in Belek as a potential host venue for the 2022 event. The course is already used by the European Tour and will stage this year’s edition of the Turkish Airlines Open, which begins tomorrow (Thursday) and will run until Sunday.
However, TGF president Ahmet Agaoglu said the venue is a resort course and has not been designed to host major tournaments. If the country were to stage the event, it would be forced to cut down up to 15,000 trees in the area surrounding the course in order to make room for grandstands.
According to the Associated Press news agency, Agaoglu said it would be impossible to gain permission to cut down the required amount of trees and the national governing body had been left with no choice but to withdraw its bid.
However, Agaoglu did confirm that Turkey will submit a bid to host the 2026 Ryder Cup. As part of the plans, the country will build a new golf course at an estimated cost of between €30m ($37.5m) and €40m, without causing any damage to the environment.
The decision by Turkey to withdraw its bid leaves six countries in the race to stage the event. Austria, Denmark, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy have all submitted bids to stage the 2022 tournament.
As part of its bid, Italy has announced, if successful, that it will stage the 2022 Ryder Cup at Marco Simone club in northeast Rome. The capital city venue also staged the 1994 Italian Open, which was won by Argentine player Eduardo Romero.
Ryder Cup officials will undertake inspections of each potential host venue before the end of the year. Official bids must be submitted by February 16 before the Ryder Cup Europe body selects the host nation in autumn 2015.