Luton Hoo’s hopes of hosting Ryder Cup move a step closer

Plans to host the Ryder Cup at Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa in Bedfordshire have moved a step closer following a decision made at the highest level of government.

Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa’s proposal to build a new championship course on it property was approved by Central Bedfordshire Council in June last year. The hotel’s owners, Arora Group, said it wanted to be able to host the matches in either 2031 or 2035.

Lee Rowley, Minister for Planning and Building Safety, said the government would not require the application to be called in for a further planning inquiry, which means the planning permission granted by the council stands, paving the way for the existing golf course to be extended and remodelled, as well as the building of a new clubhouse and office.

Luton Hoo currently has an 18-hole golf course but wants to replace it with a more challenging layout worthy of hosting the Ryder Cup, which can also accommodate more spectators.

Surinder Arora, founder and chairman of the Arora Group, which bought the hotel in 2021, commented: “Our acquisition of Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf and Spa was always with the intention to curate a luxury leisure and hospitality experience on the existing estate. We want to continue building on the already rich history of Luton Hoo and to ensure that any future investment into the estate will bring economic benefit to Bedfordshire and surrounding areas.

“Hosting the Ryder Cup, potentially in either 2031 or 2035, would raise the profile of the area to a global audience and the opportunity to bid to host a Ryder Cup at Luton Hoo is a very real and realistic ambition. The government’s decision not to call in the application is great news and a further step towards realising our ambition.”

The new course will be be designed to present a more suitable challenge for the demands of the Ryder Cup and provide more viewing options for spectators

It is understood that Arora has been in talks with Gary Player and Justin Rose to be involved in the design of the new course, although there is no confirmation that either has been officially commissioned.

Objections to the building of a new course have been lodged by Historic England and the Garden Trust, while councillors from Central Bedfordshire said the potential benefits to the area ‘outweighed any potential harm to the green belt’.