Evian reconstruction is underway

Sean Dudley

A major renovation is underway at the Evian resort in France, with the aim of improving the resort's golf course before it becomes the regular host of the LPGA Tour's new fifth Major championship next year.

American architect Steve Smyers and Dave Sampson of British-based firm European Golf Design are jointly managing the renovation project, which aims to bring spectators close to the action over Evian's closing holes.

“The final four holes are where everyone will see the most significant alterations,” said Sampson. “We are going to create a sense of drama for players and spectators alike by introducing an amphitheatre effect that will allow maximum visibility of the final action. We are also adding a number of new water features, some of which will be on the final stretch, for added excitement as well as aesthetic reasons.”

All eighteen of the course's greens are being rebuilt, making them and more undulating, to provide a greater variety of interesting pin positions. An initial construction phase, which began last November, was completed recently to ensure there would be no disruption of this year's Evian Masters.

“Evian wanted to ensure that the final non-major Evian Masters in 2012 would go ahead with the strategy of the course unchanged from the previous year,” said Sampson. “Consequently, the only alterations made to the course so far have been the remodelling and resizing of fourteen tee complexes. By increasing the size of tees, there is increased opportunity to vary where the players tee-off from. We have also moved some of the tees to offer improved visibility of the hole, which gives players and spectators a greater feel for the course.”

The new-look Evian course will make its debut at next year's tournament in September 2013. Irish firm Turfgrass Consultancy is providing agronomic and project management services.