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Bishop eyes Valhalla as possible permanent Ryder host

Ted Bishop
Getty Images

Kentucky is the home of bluegrass. It produces much of the country's bourbon, annually hosts the year's biggest horse race and houses one of the country's most popular college basketball teams.

Could it also soon become the permanent host of the Ryder Cup in the United States?

According to PGA of America president Ted Bishop, it's a possibility that has some upside.

Speaking last week at a meeting of the Louisville Rotary Club, Bishop floated the idea of keeping the matches at Valhalla Golf Club when they are contested in the U.S. every four years.

"I think one of the great visions for Valhalla would be, maybe there's a day down the road where Valhalla becomes the permanent site of a domestic Ryder Cup," Bishop told WAVE 3 News. "Where you can go in and you can do the kind of infrastructure that they have done at Augusta National, with the Masters. Think what you could do here, if you knew you were going to play the Ryder Cup every four years."

Valhalla has previously hosted the PGA Championship in 1996 and 2000, and will again hold the season's final major this August. It was also the site of the 2008 Ryder Cup, when the U.S. won, 16.5 to 11.5 - the only time the Americans have hoisted the trophy in the biennial matches since 2000.

The next available U.S.-based Ryder Cup date is in 2028, with future matches allocated to Hazeltine National in Minnesota (2016), Whistling Straits in Wisconsin (2020) and Bethpage Black in New York (2024).

The event has never been played at the same U.S. venue in consecutive turns, though there have twice been repeat hosts in Europe since World War II. Royal Birkdale was used in both 1965 and 1969, while The Belfry hosted three consecutive European editions from 1985-1993, then returned as host again in 2002.