Host venue for 2018 Ryder Cup reveals first batch of €7million alterations to its Albatros course
By Bryce Ritchie
Roughly six months after getting underway, the first results of the renovation work on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National - host venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup - have been revealed.
The venue, which beat Spain to the 2018 date, has “substantially changed” in the last six months, according to a report.
Those in charge of the changes have a budget of €7million. One of the primary objectives is to ‘secure the course quality under all conditions’ and make sure the changes keep it up to modern standards. This means the course alterations must adhere to sustainable development requirements. The course has hosted the French Open continually since 2002 and in 23 of the last 25 years.
Much like the changes which took place to the PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles in advance of the 2014 Ryder Cup, the alterations are fairly radical in France. Both the first and 16th holes feature completely redesigned greens to offer better pin positions. The bunkers have also been given new sand, which is whiter than normal so it stands out. “On lake edges, you will notice upgraded banks with oak wood coming from sustainable forests. Drainage and irrigation systems from the latest generation have yet been implemented on thirteen holes,” states the report.
New paths for buggies and a general plan for spectators are also taking shape.
Paul Armitage, Le Golf National general manager, said he was impressed by the changes that have been made.
“One of the best surprises we have in store for golf fans is on the 11th,” he hinted. “In a few months, they will discover a brand-new challenge and a fantastic layout.
“We are impressed by the Albatros’ daily metamorphosis and the titanic work achieved by workers. We are eager to share this new ‘Albatros 2.0’ with our golfers at the re-opening in May 2016
and with tour players at the 100th edition of the Alstom Open de France this summer.”