Will the Golf National close for works? How long ? When will work start? What areas of the site are impacted? Will the layout of the Ryder Cup course need to be redesigned?
Questions abound when we talk about the near future of the Golf National site concerned by the construction of the Grand Paris metro line 18.
Declared of public utility in 2017, this new line 18 has been delayed but the route decided by Société Grand Paris, the entity in charge of the project, has been stopped. The metro will mainly serve Essonne and Yvelines, from Orly airport to Versailles via the Saclay plateau.
Golf National, schedule
It will cross the Golf National to the south, with an aerial part along hole n°4 and a buried part at the level of the current Oiselet school course and practice. Inaugurated in 2019, the new short game area reserved for the amateur elite and pros is also on the route available to the federation.
“The Federation took note, without having had a say, of the line 18 project, which is part of the Grand Paris project. It is the State that decides in fine and it is preferable to reach an agreement with these administrations upstream to avoid expropriations. The discussions are going well and take into account that the Golf National will probably be closed for a period that can extend up to a year. Our agreement with the State obviously provides for compensation for operating loss and restoration,” says Pascal Grizot, president of ffgolf.
Good news for the French Open, most of the work will take place between two editions of the DP World Tour tournament, after the 2024 Olympics.
It will therefore probably be after the 2025 edition of the French Open. Several areas of the site will undergo profound changes.
“The aerial metro will first run along the Golf National and should then be underground, which requires digging a trench passing under the golf course; first under the new small game area then through the Oiselet course and the driving range. Knowingly, we leaned the small game area against a historic monument* three years ago, hoping that this would save this area. explains Grizot.
Before being redesigned, this important tool of the Performance Center will be temporarily recreated. At the ffgolf headquarters, Christophe Muniesa and Basile Lenoir, who are in direct contact with the Grand Paris company, are considering various hypotheses in order to limit the impact on the site as much as possible.
“There is no question of closing the Performance Center which welcomes the best young hopefuls. He will continue his activities. We are also working on the possibility of leaving the Eagle course open, ”says the general manager of the Federation, Christophe Muniesa.
There is no question of offering visiting golfers an amputated course that does not correspond to the real customer experience that we want to offer visitors to Le Golf National.
The Amputated Albatross
Always driven by the desire to transform the negative into an opportunity, Pascal Grizot imagines redeveloping the route of the Birdie doomed to disappear under the backhoe loaders. “The costs being borne 100% by the State, we are thinking about building an initiation course composed of par 3 in the spirit of that of Pebble Beach. As for the driving range and holes 4 and 5, changes are currently being studied which take into account the inconveniences of the future proximity of this line 18.
The second phase, which should last less than the first (6 to 8 months against 10 to 12 months), concerns the construction of the airway along the 4, the longest par 4 of the Albatros. In addition to the fact that it should cause the green to move, it will inevitably lead to the closure of the Ryder Cup course for several months according to Pascal Grizot.
“The main question raised by the works is the following: could we leave the Golf National partly open for such a long period? The answer adopted is as follows: there is no question of offering passing golfers a cut-off course that does not correspond to the real customer experience that we want to offer visitors to Le Golf National”.
Nothing has been decided yet, but the equipment could only be accessible to members during the works.