The European and USA Solheim Cup teams are expected to arrive in Ireland on Monday to commence their preparations for the eagerly anticpated event.
The USA team and six of the European team will travel by special charter from Alabama in the US where they will be competing this weekend in the Navistar LPGA Classic. This is the first time that Ireland has staged The Solheim Cup and crowds in the region of 80,000 are expected to attend the Jack Nicklaus designed Killeen Castle in Co. Meath.
After the players arrive on Monday, it is down to business early on Tuesday morning with team practice starting at 8.30am, same again on Wednesday before the teams, caddies and officials head off to the Burlington Hotel for The 2011 Solheim Cup Gala Dinner.
They won't get much time to party as official practice starts at 8.00am on Thursday morning. In the build up to the opening ceremony later on Thursday, there will be a Solheim Junior Cup Challenge and trick-shot exhibition.
The opening ceremony will take place at 5.0pm when European captain Alison Nicholas and US captain Rosie Jones will introduce their respective teams before guest of honour President Mary McAleese who will officially open the 2011 Solheim Cup.
It will be an early night for all on Thursday as the competition for real gets underway on the first tee at 7.40am on Friday morning with the first of four foursomes matches. The atmosphere will be unique for the players, the walk from the clubhouse to the first tee will be filled with nerves before they hit their drives down the tricky par 4 first hole. The USA will start as favourites but the Europeans will be determined to win back the Solheim Trophy for the first time since 2003.
Up to 7,000 foreign visitors from the US and throughout Europe are expected to cheer on their respective teams. Hotels are almost fully booked out in the region. A Local Steering Group comprised of key representatives from the Boyne Valley region including, Meath Tourism, Meath local authorities, hoteliers, vintners and Fáilte Ireland have been working to ensure the Boyne Valley region is showcased in the best possible manner to all visitors during the 2011 Solheim Cup.
Over 40 events have been organised to coincide with the staging of the Solheim Cup including the Dunshaughlin Harvest Festival, the Terrific Trim Festival, a Culture Night at the Solstice Arts Centre in Navan featuring the Irish Chamber Orchestra and an Irish Night and Pig Roasting with traditional Irish music in the nearby Dunsany GAA Club to name just a few.
Iarnród Éireann and Dublin Bus have teamed up to offer a special day return rail and shuttle bus fare of just 10 return (5 for children) for the Solheim Cup from Thursday to Sunday inclusive. Services will depart from and return to Connolly Station in Dublin City Centre. A bus will be provided from M3 Parkway station to bring spectators to the coach park inside the gates of Killeen Castle by a dedicated bus route.
Tickets for The Solheim Cup are available on www.solheimcup.ie and www.ticketmaster.com or by calling with 0818719309. Season Tickets are available for just 125 which gives you access to the course for the three practice days, the opening ceremony on Thursday and the three competitions days. If you can't go every day, the ticket can be shared with a friend. Practice day tickets are available at just 15 on Tuesday and Wednesday with Thursday entry costing just 20. For competition days tickets are 40 (Friday) and 50 (Saturday and Sunday). An 'Anyday' ticket can be purchased for 55. Tickets will also be available to purchase at the entrance gate on each day.
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