Promotion for the 2018 Ryder Cup has started in earnest with opposing captains teeing off from the Eiffel Tower. It is not recorded if either manager to carry the nearby water hazard.
Thomas Bjorn and Jim Furyk were in Paris to be wined and dined by French President Emmanuel Macron and generally spread the word that the 42nd Ryder Cup is rostered to take place at Le Golf National golf course next September.
The European team will be seeking to extend its ten year run of home wins and take back the trophy which it lost last year when the competition was held in the USA at the Hazeltine National venue.
US team captain Furyk told the Press: “We had dinner at the Palace of Versailles last night, we had breakfast with the President this morning and now we’ve hit a golf shot from the Eiffel Tower. It’s incredible. I’m pinching myself – it seems a bit storybook, but it shows how big The Ryder Cup is and how important it is to a country like France to showcase how beautiful this country is and how wonderful Paris is.”
Managing director of French tourist development agency Atout France UK & Ireland, Gwenaelle Maret-Delos, said France was the most visited country in the world but despite having more than 600 golf courses was less well known as a golf destination. Hosting the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, which is 21 miles outside Paris, could change that.
Getting in on the act, the Italian Golf Federation took the opportunity for a little promotion of its own, inviting golfers “to visit our extraordinary country and also discover our golf courses”. Rome is to host the 2022 Ryder Cup.
Meanwhile there has been a flurry of Ryder Cup activity in the USA where it has been announced that the Olympic Club in San Francisco will host the 2032 Ryder Cup – the first time the competition will visit California for over 70 years.
The announcement has some significance in the rivalry between the PGA of America, which runs the Ryder Cup in the US as well as its annual PGA championship, and the USGA which is responsible for the US Open. The Olympic Club had previously been aligned to the latter, having hosted five US Opens. It had hoped to host a sixth in 2027 but that has now gone to Pebble Beach. Instead Olympic will have a potentially more programme – the PGA championship in 2028 as well as the Ryder Cup in 2032.
“Our membership is elated to host the PGA Championship and Ryder Cup, two more gems that add to the rich multi-sport history of America’s oldest athletic club,” said Olympic Club president Dan Dillon.
Before the Ryder Cup goes to San Francisco it will visit Whistling Straits in Wisconsin in 2020, and Bethpage Black in New York in 2024.