Not content to rest on its laurels after the success of hosting last year’s Ryder Cup, Le Golf National’s management team is continuing to invest in its facilities, building a substantial new training area for short game practice.
Located between the 16th green of the Albatros course and the club’s driving range, the new short game area housed a large grandstand during the 2018 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 16th green and the driving range was ideal for this use, as it was already covered by our irrigation system,” said Pierré. “The new short game area was designed in-house, jointly by me, Alejandro Reyes, our 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 sq m of surrounds and 1,000 sq m 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 will open in September for use by the local golf schools, and will be in use when the French Open returns to Le Golf National in October.