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Wales Claims Ryder Cup Bid Would Enhance Game

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If Wales is successful in winning the right to host the 2009 Ryder Cup, it would alter golf in the country in a substantial way. Most notably, it would help to make the game more democratic, sweeping away 'sexism and elitism,' claims Wales bid committee chairman Tony Lewis.
 
Europe is to make a decision where the 2009 tournament will be held in a matter of months. Celtic Manor in Wales would host if its country wins. Scotland, Ireland, and England are also in the running.
 
Wales, however, has lagged behind in hosting the event and in encouraging public golf in particular. Part of the reason, it was made plain in the Tuesday news conference, is because of the difference in men and women golfers, between the youth and the older golfers. And at the heart of the discussion is the creation of new facilities. Welsh golf courses often are over-burdened by too many members at private clubs and too few public facilities. If Wales were chosen to host the Ryder Cup, it was greatly contribute in eliminating these inequities.
 
'Even when people are in a position to afford membership fees, they often feel intimidated by the elitist image of the game,' said Wales first minister Rhodri Morgan. 'That scenario is changing, but we need to accelerate that change. We want to remove those barriers.'