Le Golf National Course Guide
Where is the Ryder Cup 2018?
Le Golf National is the venue for the 2018 Ryder Cup. It’s only the second time a European course outside of Great Britain and Ireland has hosted the competition. Continental Europe has only staged the event once before, back in 1997 when Valderrama in Spain was the location.
The tournament will be played on Le National’s L’Albatros course. The par-71 plays like a heady combination of a British Open and a US tour venue. There’s lots of water and the dramatic final four holes are already being tipped to stage some nail-biting finales in the hotly anticipated match-up between the US and Europe. Get the latest Ryder Cup betting odds with Bet UK's online sportsbook. Bet UK's boosts has a number of Ryder Cup boosts, including USA to win the Ryder Cup boosted to EVS.
Where is Le Golf National?
Situated 20 miles south west of central Paris, Le National is in the attractive suburb of Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. The golfing centre lies between the Haute Vallée de Chevreuse regional park and the renowned Château de Versailles.
Le National was built on former agricultural land and is surrounded by the forest of Rambouillet which covers some 200 square-kilometres. Once over, the area lay at the south west boundary of the Palace of Versailles.
The Ryder Cup competitors will stay in a luxury hotel near Versailles and will be welcomed in an opening ceremony in the palace’s Galerie des Batailles, beneath paintings depicting glorious French victories - an omen, perhaps?
How to get to Le Golf National
The easiest way to get to Le Golf National from central Paris is by train. There are free shuttle buses throughout the tournament from the two nearest stations to the course. Alternatively, the venue is around an hour by bus from Paris, or for those arriving by car there are three designated park-and-ride locations.
History of Le Golf National
Le Golf National will join the list of famous courses to have staged the Ryder Cup and elevate the profile of the venue which opened in 1990. The centre was visualised as a public facility to engage new and existing golfers while also hosting major tournaments.
The site has two 18-hole courses and hosts the Open de France, the oldest national competition in continental Europe. Celebrating its centenary year in 2006, the French Open has been part of the European Tour since 1972.
L’Albatros is the course on which the world’s best golfers will battle for supremacy and is widely regarded as one of the finest on the European tour. The course was designed by architects Hubert Chesneau and Robert Von Hagge.
Laid out with spectators in mind, the final four holes of L’Albatros are played out in a bowl circling the course lakes. In readiness for the huge crowds about to descend, spectator mounding has been modified and spaces have been prepped for grandstands and corporate tents.
The course itself has undergone extensive renovation ahead of the Ryder Cup. 17 new bunkers have been built and a further 28 reconstructed. Two new lakes have been added along with a modernised drainage and irrigation system.
Ryder Cup 2018 - A European Advantage?
The US may begin the Ryder Cup with swagger, as Americans have won each of the last five majors. But aside from being a ‘home’ tournament for Europe’s golfers, there’s plenty to suggest the teams from Britain and the continent will feel comfortable in their surrounds. Many of Europe’s top players name Le National as one of their favourites and few of the Americans have played it; factors which could swing the 2018 Ryder Cup odds in the European’s favour. Europe to win the Ryder Cup is 27/20 with Bet UK's online sportsbook.
The design of the course owes much to Scottish links courses but was also inspired by Florida’s TCP Sawgrass. Hills, undulating fairways, deep approach bunkers and few trees combine with extensive water features and clean, crisp greens to feel like a traditional European course with a twist of America thrown in.
Most Exciting Holes
Le Golf National course is well-suited to matchplay golf. The course invites players to take a risk in search of an advantage but lies in wait to punish any wayward shooting with a host of obstacles and tests. The Ryder Cup course is all about teamwork, gambling and tactics, after all.
A round on L’Albatros begins with an opener which requires a cunning drive either over or around a dogleg right before the players get their first view of the course lakes. The maiden hole will catch out anyone who hasn’t warmed up properly, ending with a narrow green.
A long par-three second follows with water surrounding the approaches to the tee, but the course then opens up with some playable holes which should enable some exciting back-and-forth matchplay scoring.
Six of the back nine holes feature water with the 15th and the 18th sitting the flag atop an island green. The 16th promises to stage some drama with a par-three which descends quite steeply towards yet more water, but it is the 18th which is the masterpiece of L’Albatros.
The final test has been described as the most difficult hole on the European tour. Water will catch any poor hit from the tee while a cunning bailout area just short of the green will tempt any player feeling the pressure.
Such is the tension the final hole arouses, Thomas Levet famously jumped into the lake by the 18th after negotiating it to win the 2011 French Open, only to break his leg.
Bet UK has the latest Ryder Cup betting odds throughout the weekend at our online sportsbook. Head over to our Bet UK Boosts page for boosted odds on selected markets, including some of our Golf Expert Ryder Cup Betting Tips. Bet UK's Ryder Cup News page will be following the build up to the historic tournament.
*All odds from Bet UK’s online sportsbook correct at the time of writing.
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