23 Sep 2018

Ryder Cup focus: The Albatross Course, Le Golf National

The backdrop to this year’s Ryder Cup matches will be a golf course famed for its strategic nature, a clutch of risk-reward holes and water features which come into play across most of the layout.

It is a course ready-made to host one of the biggest events in all sports with spectators afforded a view of the action from almost any vantage point due to the nature of the mounds that line fairways and snake around greens. “Le Golf National has been built as a stadium course, similar to TPC Sawgrass in Florida,” says General Manager Paul Armitage.

“During The Ryder Cup you have fewer games, as opposed to the Open de France, so it’s important to cater for the crowds at the right places on the course. I believe it will be the best course to have hosted a Ryder Cup. You need a spectacular stadium course to suit spectators.

“On the Albatros course you could be standing 12 or 15 people deep, but such is the way the banks are situated the spectators will have a good view of the action. You need to create space as you have to remember, it is the spectators who provide the atmosphere.”

“The course has hosted the Open de France every year except two since 1991 and has undergone a lot of cosmetic work ahead of this year’s Ryder Cup with all 18 holes having at least some minor alteration – be it a new tee box, a touch of landscaping or a re-built lake edge.

“The players love the Albatros Course because it is risk and reward. It’s a course that keeps you on your toes. From holes seven through to 18 there is very little margin for error, so you’ve got to be hitting good shots all the way in. Holes five and six are breathable par fours where birdies are possible, but the first two holes are knee-knockers where there will be huge pressure to hit a good tee-shot.”

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