Grass Roots Meetings & Events’ Des McLaughlin congratulates Gleneagles on its Ryder Cup triumph.
Congratulations to Stuart Smith and his team at Gleneagles for helping to deliver such a stunning Ryder Cup. Views of the course on our TV screens, stunning as they were, only told a small part of the story. Some of the player interviews helped to fill in the rest. I don’t think I’ve ever heard the ‘stars of the show’ eulogise quite so extensively about the facilities as they did last weekend in Scotland.
Much praise has been heaped upon the victorious European captain Paul McGinley, but it seems he wasn’t the only one to leave no stone unturned, in terms of preparation. When Ryder Cup Europe took over the hotel for a week, they were able to make use of every single square foot of function space, be it for team rooms, office space, physio rooms or kit storage. Away from the main hotel building, the equestrian centre was transformed into a reception venue for 1,500 guests. According to Smith, it was all put together like a ‘jigsaw’. As far as I can tell, there were no missing pieces.
Three factors were fundamental in the creation of the final picture.
Gleneagles secured golf’s marquee event back in 2001 so you could argue they had plenty of time to get it right. But time alone is no guarantor of success. People and money were involved too. £250,000 was spent refurbishing the main function room, the Gleneagles suite and an infrastructure manager was brought in to work out how to get exactly the right people, in the right numbers at the right places at the right time to deliver an event that was visited by 45,000 people each day for three days. Looks like they nailed it.
An event like the Ryder Cup requires a massive amount of teamwork at a number of different levels. Unsung heroes included the 80 green-keepers and 100 chefs among some 7,500 staff, employed not just by the hotel but by a variety of contractors, who needed to be part of Team Gleneagles in the weeks leading up to and during the event itself. I’m sure there were some tense moments along the way, but when push came to shove, everyone, as they say in sport, ‘got the job done’.
Shame the American golfer Phil Mickleson didn’t seem to process this one. The last putt had barely stopped spinning at the bottom of the cup, before he had the knives out for the captain Tom Watson. Naughty boy.
Cutting out the dull stuff
Even an event as glorious as the Ryder Cup is always open to improvement. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to be relieved that this year saw the axing of boring presentation speeches in front of lots of suited committee men (that’s another rich source of blog material), once it was all over. A quick handing over of the trophy then back to the hotel bar to celebrate in style. Much more like it. Full marks to whoever instigated that one.
What next for Gleneagles? Time to start seeing the money flow back in instead of out, I should anticipate. Just as the global economy takes a turn for the better, it seems that Gleneagles’s timing could be rather like Rory Mcillroy’s swing. Perfect.
Any comments? Email Paul Colston