The Albatros Course at Le Golf National in Paris will play host to the 2018 Ryder Cup as Europe and the United States clash in the French capital. What is in store for the 24 players as they go head-to-head?
The course, which has hosted the French Open on the European Tour since 1991, is a par-72 measuring 7,183 yards with undulating fairways and bunkers reminiscent of links golf. But there is water aplenty. A dramatic conclusion looks to be in store in Paris when the 2018 Ryder Cup is staged between September 28-30.
We take a look at Le Golf National’s key holes.
Hole 1—Par 4 (419 yards)
A tricky opening with water left, meaning an iron off the tee is highly likely. A short-to-mid iron is left into a green—shortened for the Ryder Cup—which is also protected by water.
Hole 2—Par 3 (210 yards)
Water again dominates the first of the par-3s, which is fairly lengthy at over 200 yards. It is all carry to the green and requires pinpoint accuracy to avoid the wet stuff.
Hole 3—Par 5 (558 yards)
The first of three par-5s at Le Golf National is relatively simple. It is reachable in two for most players, and it may need birdies to be in contention to win the third.
Hole 4—Par 4 (487 yards)
Avoiding the sand traps on either side of the fairway is key on this long par-4. The green is elevated and requires a little more club than you might expect with the approach shot.
Hole 5—Par 4 (405 yards)
A simple par-4 but one which surprisingly doesn’t give up too many birdies when the European Tour visits.
Hole 6—Par 4 (381 yards)
The 6th at Le Golf National should be a birdie fest, although the downhill approach on this short hole can be tricky with a seriously long green also prone to making players club incorrectly.
Hole 7—Par 4 (457 yards)
The elevated fairway makes this a tricky driving hole, but a good tee shot is required to leave a lengthy iron in. Find trouble off the tee and you are up against it.
Hole 8—Par 3 (208 yards)
If the wind blows, this hole becomes a great deal tougher. The small pot bunker protecting the green can also swallow up balls and make getting down in par difficult.
Hole 9—Par 5 (592 yards)
The front nine closes with the longest hole of the round. Two big blows will get you to the green, but with bunkers protecting the front, some may opt for caution and a short pitch in search of a birdie.
Hole 10—Par 4 (375 yards)
With water left, a safe iron is the most obvious choice here. But in the Matchplay format, expect a few to have a crack at the green on the shortest of the par-4s.
Hole 11—Par 3 (178 yards)
Water, two bunkers at the rear of the green and a sloping putting surface make this a tough hole to par let alone birdie. Fortunes could change quickly here at Le Golf National.
Hole 12—Par 4 (433 yards)
An incredibly difficult dogleg with a bunker cleverly located in the fairway. Fail to find the fairway off the tee and par becomes very difficult with the large green undulating.
Hole 13—Par 4 (415 yards)
The 13th is all about the approach with the green protected by water in front and an oak tree. It requires perfect placement with the second shot from the dogleg fairway.
Hole 14—Par 5 (544 yards)
The large bunker in front of the green makes this a difficult hole to attack in two. The green itself offers little respite with two tiers and the need to be on the right one!
Hole 15—Par 4 (408 yards)
The water returns for the final stretch and the 15th green is surrounding by the stuff. Perfect clubbing is needed with the approach from a relatively wide fairway.
Hole 16—Par 3 (177 yards)
The last of the par-3s is also played across water to a green which gently slopes towards it. Opting for the heart of the green will often leave a tricky downhill putt.
Hole 17—Par 4 (480 yards)
There is no water on the penultimate hole at Le Golf National, but that doesn’t make it any easier. The fairway is uphill and the green slopes right to left, making a par a good result at what could be a crucial time.
Hole 18—Par 4 (471 yards)
The final hole is only marginally shorter than the 17th, but water is back in play up the entire left hand side of the fairway and green. Bunkers protect the right side of the fairway, while the green is surrounded by water. What a finishing hole this will be.
Who will win the 2018 Ryder Cup at Le Golf National? Follow the international tournament from 28-30 September.
See also: The U.S. Ryder Cup Team Takes Shape