France to host 2018 Ryder Cup


Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

The European Tour has announced that France will host the Ryder Cup for the first time in 2018, with matches to be played at Le Golf National near Paris, home of the Alstom Open de France for the past 20 years.

Richard Hills, Europe’s Ryder Cup Director, said: “France, as the successful nation, will now be entering into a multi-faceted relationship with Ryder Cup Europe, lasting a minimum of 12 years and benefiting many aspects of golf at all levels. All of us at Ryder Cup Europe look forward to working closely with the French Ryder Cup 2018 team in the coming years.”

The Albatros course at Le Golf National was designed by Hubert Chesneau and Robert von Hagge and opened for play in 1990. Large-scale mounding contributes to a stadium feel and water comes into play throughout the course, notably on the 15th, 16th and 18th holes of its notoriously difficult closing stretch. Its suitability for exciting match play no doubt contributed to the Ryder Cup Committee’s decision.

The decision casts a shadow on proposed new developments for three of the five nations that completed the bidding process. Germany, Spain and Portugal submitted proposals that revolved around courses which have not yet been built, unlike France and the Netherlands – the latter’s plan involving The Dutch resort, where courses were designed by EGD, the architects of the 2010 Ryder Cup course at Celtic Manor in Wales.

The developers of Herdade da Comporta in Portugal have already committed to building their Tom Fazio courses regardless of the Ryder Cup decision, but it isn’t clear whether the Thomas Himmel-designed course near Munich in Germany and the Tres Cantos course in Madrid, Spain designed by Robin Hiseman of EGD will go ahead without the promise of Ryder Cup action.