Ryder Cup mania – Welcome to your host... Louisville

With the New Year in sight and already less than 12 months to go until the 37th Ryder Cup kicks off, we thought it was about time we got our resident Yank to introduce you to the delights of Loo-a-vull.

It?s hard to believe that the 37th Ryder Cup is now less than a year away, but in just over nine months golf?s greatest match play event returns to the States for the first time since Europe?s nine-point trouncing of the Stars n' Stripes in 2004 at Oakland Hills.

While everyone knows that the 2004 Ryder Cup host city of Detroit is internationally known as the ?Motor City,? Louisville is a place just as unfamiliar to most Americans as it will be to the many European visitors descending on the city next September.

Though its name won?t likely trigger visions of the classic American city in our imaginations like New York, Chicago or Los Angeles would, there?s actually quite a bit to like about Louisville. We?ve compiled 10 fun facts about the home of the 2008 Ryder Cup that you can use to impress your family, friends and co-workers. Enjoy ya?ll!

1. The correct pronunciation of Louisville is ?Loo-a-vull,? but many Americans pronounce the city?s name ?Loo-ey-ville? or ?Loo-a-ville.?

2. Louisville is the largest city in the state of Kentucky with a population of over 554,000. It is currently the 27th largest city in America.

3. Louisville?s Churchill Downs is the annual home of the Kentucky Derby, which is the highest attended and most watched horse racing event in the United States. The event is nicknamed ?The Run for the Roses? due to the presentation of over 500 roses to the winning jockey each year.

4. Louisville?s most famous resident is legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. The Muhammad Ali Center museum opened in Downtown Louisville in 2005 at a cost of £40 million and is already one of the city?s most popular attractions.

5. UPS is the city?s largest employer, as its worldwide air hub called Worldport is located at Louisville International Airport.

6. Louisville is the global headquarters for Brown-Forman Corporation (makers of Jack Daniels whiskey and Korbel champagne) and Yum! Brands (owners of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell).

7. The famous Fort Knox scenes in Goldfinger were actually filmed in Louisville (30 miles away) because of security concerns. Recent movies filmed in Louisville include Elizabethtown, The Insider and Lawn Dogs.

8. The University of Louisville has one of the most prestigious collegiate basketball programmes in America and its rivalry with the University of Kentucky is considered to be one of the fiercest in American collegiate sport. In 2004 UL?s men?s basketball team was rated the most profitable collegiate basketball program in the United States by CNN.

9. Louisville?s Frazier International History Museum is the only museum outside of the UK that is allowed to display artefacts from the Royal Armouries. The Royal Armouries USA takes up most of the museum on its own.

10. Valhalla Golf Club, home of the 2008 Ryder Cup, has also hosted a slew of other major tournaments including the 1996 and 2000 PGA Championships and 2004 Senior PGA Championship.

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