New short game area to open at Le Golf National

New short game area to open at Le Golf National
Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

A new short game area will open in September at Le Golf National, near Paris, France.

The new practice facility is located between the sixteenth green of the Albatros course and the club’s driving range, in an area that housed a large grandstand during the Ryder Cup.

“When the stand came down after the event, all the grass in the area was dead, so it was clear we needed to do something with the ground,” said Lucas Pierré, golf courses and estates manager at Le Golf National. “At the same time, we decided to rebuild all our training areas using better materials. They are really important for us and get a great deal of use, both from our paying golf customers and from our coaches running clinics for local schoolchildren.

“The area between the sixteenth green and the driving range was ideal for this use, as it was already covered by our irrigation system. The new short game area was designed in house, jointly by me, by Alejandro Reyes [Le Golf National’s former superintendent, now an agronomic consultant] and by our head golf teacher. We saved as much of the USGA rootzone as possible – it is quite large, with 3,000 square metres of green space, 4,000 square metres of surrounds and 1,000 square metres of sand, in two big bunkers.

“We already have Capillary Concrete on the Albatros course, and we are used to working with their French distributor, Stan Chapus of Greenmix, so we know that the system works, and we decided on Ecobunker to create the bunker edging. Together they make an advanced system – not cheap, but they work well together. We can keep the sand on the bunker faces; it doesn’t wash down every time there is a big rain.”

The new area opens in September for use by children from local golf schools, and will be in use when the French Open returns to Le Golf National in October.