Golf Club St. Leon-Rot, a stunning 45-hole complex situated near the scenic town of Heidelberg in the heart of Germany, will become the tenth venue to be part of The European Tour’s thriving collection of world class golfing facilities.
A sister-venue of Terre Blanche Golf Club in the South of France, which in November became the fourth Destination within the Tour Properties network, St. Leon-Rot has already enjoyed worldwide recognition as four-time host venue for the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open TPC of Europe on The European Tour International Schedule.
St. Leon-Rot joins Terre Blanche, Le Golf National in Paris and London Golf Club in England as European Tour Destinations, and brings to ten the total number of venues within the Tour Properties portfolio, including Fleesensee Golf and Country Club, also in Germany.
Today’s announcement has special resonance as it coincides with the birthday of St Leon-Rot’s founder, Dietmar Hopp, the past CEO and founder of SAP, one of the world’s foremost software companies. This year also marks the 15th anniversary of the opening of the venue.
The club was officially inaugurated by Mr Hopp in 1996, who the following year as Club President struck the first shot on the ‘Rot’ 18 hole Championship Course, designed by architect Hannes Schreiner. In the same year, St. Leon-Rot became the 500th golf club to be accepted into the German Golf Association.
The reputation of St. Leon-Rot was greatly enhanced by the staging of the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open in 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2004. The first three tournaments, played over the Rot course, were all won by then World Number One Tiger Woods while South African Trevor Immelman captured the title on the fourth and so far final visit to St. Leon-Rot in 2004 over the Dave Thomas-designed St. Leon Course. In 2012, the venue will host the European Girls Championship.
St. Leon-Rot also boasts a nine-hole Academy Course and spectacular indoor practice facilities to complement the 36 holes of championship golf. The complex has recently become the German Federation’s national training centre, with an emphasis on the development of junior golf in a country that has produced Major Champions of the calibre of Bernhard Langer and Martin Kaymer.
Announcing the signing of the partnership, David MacLaren, the Tour’s Director of Property and Venue Development, said: “We are delighted to welcome St. Leon-Rot as a European Tour Destination and to our family of world-class venues. The relationship between the European Tour and the Hopp family has been a long and happy one, and we pay tribute to Mr Hopp for his investment in tournament golf, and the outstanding facilities he has created both at St. Leon-Rot and Terre Blanche.”
Mr Hopp, Founding President and Patron of Golf Club St. Leon-Rot said: “I am very proud that the Golf Club St. Leon-Rot now, like Terre Blanche, meets the high standards of The European Tour. Being part of The European Tour Properties is an honour for us and I’m very happy that both of my courses now belong to this finest selection of European golf clubs. I believe that with this partnership we have a great chance to achieve our sporting and quality aims.”