The new golf course outside Rome that’s set to host the 2022 Ryder Cup is rumored to be behind schedule, but one brilliant idea is right on track:
Staging the opening ceremony at the famed Colosseum.
“I’ve said along, the 2022 Ryder Cup is going to Italy. Our design team is there on a weekly basis. Construction is underway. People talk about problems, but they are nothing but speculation,” said European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley, while speaking to a small group of reporters, including Golf Digest, in Turkey. “We have had discussions about the opening ceremony being held in the Colosseum. Serious conversations with Italian decision makers and officials. It’s going to be spectacular.”
So many entertaining possibilities for the Ryder Cup. Would the home team enter to the theme from Gladiator? Would they rise from beneath the floor, like lions and tigers once did? Would Patrick Reed dress like Maximus? Would Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari don emperor’s robes? And what would my curmudgeonly friends in golf media complain about? (Early favorite: lack of arch support in the ancient, concrete bleachers.)
The Colosseum opened in 80 A.D. and remains one of the world’s most famous attractions. Any opportunity golf has to make use of the facility would be a win. So, while rumors swirl that construction of the new Marco Simone Country Club has hit a few snags, the European Tour remains full speed ahead with its next host course. It sounds like the first-ever Ryder Cup in Italy could be one for the books.