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SPONSORED: Families to the fore at major golf tournament, The Solheim Cup

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Pushchairs, storytelling and baby change areas are not often things you would associate with a world-class golf tournament, but they are very much part of The Solheim Cup.

When it arrives at Gleneagles next month thousands of families will watch 24 of the world’s elite female golfers from Team Europe and Team USA compete on Scottish soil from September 9th to 15th, while 600 million others tune in across the globe.

Tickets for the practice days on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are free for adults and children, while under-16s also gain free entry to the opening ceremony on the Thursday, the competition days on Friday and Saturday, followed by the final on Sunday.

Despite having five weeks to go until the championship tees off in Perthshire, the event has already given away three times more children’s tickets than the organisers’ initial target. Now they are expecting more than 3,000 children to attend.

In a bid to open the sport up to young people, Perth and Kinross Council has organised for 1,500 school pupils to attend to watch The PING Junior Solheim Cup tournament. This will take place on the fairways of Gleneagles in the days leading up to the prestigious tournament.

Solheim Cup events manager and keen golfer Nicola Doig said: “The Solheim Cup differs from other golf tournaments because we are 100% family focussed, we are aiming to get young people and women involved in golf, and we have worked hard at getting a more diverse audience attending it.

“It was really important to us that children were at the heart of that and could attend free of charge,” she adds.

“When we were bringing the event to Scotland, we wanted to showcase equality across golf, sport and society and that was one of the main objectives.”

Nicola and her team of organisers wanted to open up this particular event to families from across Scotland and beyond. Their main way of doing this was to ensure there were activities aplenty for people of all ages during the main championship.

The hub will be at the Spectator Village, which is expected to be based alongside the first tee and purpose-built grandstand. The village will offer plenty of opportunities for spectators to stay put and watch the action unfold live on the big screens, without having to venture round the course with young children in tow.

Mother-of-one Nicola insisted: “It’s not just about golf; you can get involved in lots of other things too.

“Families can come to the Spectator Village and have a great day out engaging in lots of activities. We wanted to make sure there was something for children of all ages.”

Nicola’s own family will also be in attendance. Her five-year-old son will be going along with his grandparents and soaking up the atmosphere of the family-friendly golf tournament from a young age.

She added: “I have bought my whole family tickets to the opening ceremony purely because it is a family focused event and my five-year-old will absolutely love it! It is his opportunity to make a lot of noise during golf – which you don’t often get the chance to do – and enjoy some great entertainment, while the grandparents will be on babysitting duty and my husband will be watching the golf.

“Watching golf is a great way to stay active and you can walk five to six miles in a day while watching it or playing it, unlike spectating at a football match where you are seated for 90 minutes.

“It’s also fun for families to get involved in and enjoy together, as well as being a great way to keep children active.”

  • Up to six children’s tickets can be requested along with each paying adult. Adult tickets for The Solheim Cup start at £25. To book tickets for “the most family-focussed golf event in history”, visit the website by clicking here.

Unmissable visitor attractions at The Solheim Cup:

  • ON-SITE PARKING: There will be a number of spaces dedicated to families just a five-minute walk from the activities. Parking spots must be booked in advance, and cost from £5. Visit for more.
  • THE GOLF ZONE: Kids can try their hand at driving, putting and chipping by hitting balls in the specially-designed interactive Golf Zone, as well as taking part in a long putt competition.
  • FAMILY AREA: Aimed at babies to seven year olds, this space allows parents to have a coffee while their children enjoy arts and crafts, storytelling and a play area.
  • JOHN DEERE TRACTORS: The agricultural giant will be bringing along mini diggers and tractors for children to ride.
  • CATERING: Unlike some outdoor public events, catering trucks at the Spectator Village will feature children’s menus, so even the fussiest of eaters will be satisfied.
  • QUIET ZONE: For those wishing to escape the crowds there is an autism-friendly chill out area where new mums can also breastfeed.
  • CELEBRITY PLAY-OFFS: As part of the launch of The Solheim Cup,the opening day (Thursday), will feature well-known faces and Scottish junior golfers taking part in an exhibition challenge match.
  • AUTOGRAPH ZONE: Players from both European and American teams will be on hand to meet young people as well as autograph caps and other golf memorabilia. This is also a great photo opportunity for selfies. Remember to share your photos on social media using the Solheim hashtag: #itallleadstothismoment
  • MERCHANDISE: There will be plenty of mementos and souvenirs for purchase in the merchandise tent, such as golf-related clothing and products, as well as a wide range of children’s sizes. Some of the exhibition units will also be giving away free goodies.

The Solheim Cup returns to Scotland, The Home of Golf, from September 9th to 15th. The tournament takes place at The Gleneagles championship golf course. Tickets are still available (children are free to attend), to book visit the website by clicking here.