Registration for volunteering is now open for the 2019 contest at Gleneagles
The opportunity for fans to get up close at the Solheim Cup in 2019 has never been better after organisers released details on volunteering at the Gleneagles event, writes Bryce Ritchie.
The Volunteer Programme gives more than 1,000 volunteers a rare chance to share in an incredible experience.
Organisers are hoping to make the 2019 showcase the biggest Solheim Cup in history.
The programme will encourage women and young people in particular to volunteer for as well as allowing both golfers and non-golfers to get involved and get the most out of the experience. This builds on the ambition of creating the most inclusive Solheim Cup to date when it is hosted at Gleneagles in Perthshire in September 2019.
Anyone interested can volunteer in a variety of areas including Marshals, Scoring, Transport, Administration and Television, where they will have the opportunity to learn about the event and support organisers delivering the ladies' equivalent of the men's Ryder Cup.
Anyone interested in becoming a volunteer is invited to register their interest by signing up at solheimcup2019.com as soon as possible. Interest is anticipated from across the UK, Europe and the US and is expected to exceed demand so selection is not guaranteed.
European captain Catriona Matthew, said she is looking to keep the trophy to Europe in 2019 after an inspired USA team retained their trophy by 16 ½ to 11 ½ points, in front of record crowds in Iowa.
"Volunteers are one of the most important parts of any golfing event we play in," said the former major winner, who is Scotland's greatest ever female golfer. "The pride our Scottish volunteers will take in ensuring visitors and fans experience the very best of Scottish hospitality will be our secret weapon."
The programme is being led by Liz Taylor, the Head Volunteer. Taylor has a wealth of experience in volunteering and is currently involved in the junior coaching programme at Prestonfield Golf Club in Edinburgh where more than 100 children receive coaching each week.
Taylor was awarded SGU Volunteer of the Year in 2013 and more recently Scottish Women in Sport People's Champion 2014. "It's a great honour to take up this prestigious opportunity," she said, "and I'm fully committed in ensuring that all our volunteers both receive a very warm welcome, and provide a very warm Scottish welcome to everyone involved in the event."