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Netjets Volume 4 (2018)

Club man Pascal Grizot,

Club man Pascal Grizot, President of the 2018 Ryder Cup Committee and a talented golfer who captained France in competitions over several years The Ryder Cup EN FRANÇAIS PASCAL GRIZOT, PRESIDENT OF THE 2018 ORGANISING COMMITTEE, SAT DOWN WITH FARHAD HEYDARI TO SPEAK ABOUT THIS YEAR’S TRANSATLANTIC BIENNIAL BATTLE, THE DEVELOPMENT OF GOLF IN FRANCE AND WHAT IT MEANS TO HOLD THE EVENT SO CLOSE TO PARIS How significant is it for France to host the Ryder Cup? You know, I must say that we are not a golfing nation yet, but we have been developing the game for many years now. The game is definitely growing. We are hoping the Ryder Cup will increase the interest in the game in France. We host the French Open every year, but the Ryder Cup is something different – already we have media from across the globe focused on the event. And within France the support is universal, from the government to the media to the people – there is a real excitement about it, from across the country. In fact, all the tickets are sold out: everything [available to the general public] was sold within an hour and 20 minutes. first tee, which requires a blind drive that cuts the corner to the right but risks an unplayable lie if the ball slices rather than fades, while a lake guards the left side of the fairway. Water is the ubiquitous hazard here, coming into play on fully half of the holes and adding to the atmosphere of the grounds throughout, from bubbling brooks and streams to expansive lakes that swallow tees shots with voracious hunger. It doesn’t feel like a “blank canvas”, but a marvellous, even majestic landscape that has reached full maturity after these 28 years. The par 72 course, measuring 7,331 yards (6,703 metres) from the tips, has hosted the Open de France – a staple of the European Tour calendar – nearly every year since 1991, and each tournament Sunday the iconic final four holes decide the winner. A quartet that rivals any in Europe, it includes the nearisland greens at both 15 and 18 as well as the the dramatic par 3 16th, where the downhill slope can confound club selection and too much spin will feed the tee shot back into the water. Drama is a given at the Ryder Cup, and this closing stretch will be squarely in focus in each of September’s matches. But after the tournament ends and the Americans go home, the real legacy of the event will come into view – will the noblest of sports remain the purview of European elites, or will the democratising Golf National be the next step in golf ’s popularisation across the European continent? ■ Toussus-le-Noble Airport: 4miles/6km What does bringing the Ryder Cup to France mean for you, having spearheaded the campaign? I am a passionate golfer. I was captain of our national team for many years and to be part of the organisation of the Ryder Cup – it’s a dream. What will be unique about hosting the Cup at Le Golf National’s L’Albatros course in Saint-Quentinen-Yvelines? Each Ryder Cup is its own event, and it’s growing exponentially every year. For example, the last one in Minneapolis was very different from the previous Ryder Cup in the States. For the players, they will play in a true stadium-style golf course: the course has been built with natural viewpoints around each hole, so it will allow spectators to follow the games easily. It is the first time in many years that the Ryder Cup will be played close to a major city, so spectators will enjoy not only the golf but everything that Paris has to offer as well. This combination means we already have many Americans who have booked tickets to the Ryder Cup – and this September we may even have the first time in European Ryder Cup history where more than 20% of the spectators will be American. What will the legacy be of the first French Ryder cup? I would like to have no regrets on that final Sunday afternoon. I want us to really use the opportunity of hosting such an important event to promote the game and to further the legacy of the Ryder Cup itself. For France in particular, we want to demonstrate to the world that though we can’t yet compete with golfing destinations like Spain, Portugal or even some countries in North Africa, we can offer more than these countries because in addition to what tourists already love in France, we can also propose the golf. When you go to Bordeaux for a wine tour, for example, there are wonderful golf courses to enjoy in the area. In Lyon, too, we have renowned gastronomy as well as very nice courses. In Normandy and in Brittany as well ... all across France. Even if people don’t come here only to play golf, they can play golf in addition to everything they love in our country. AFP/GETTY IMAGES 38 NetJets

TEEING OFF Playing in Paris A QUARTET OF COURSES WITHIN EASY REACH OF THE FRENCH CAPITAL ENTICE AMATEURS AND KEEN GOLFERS ALIKE FONTAINEBLEAU PARIS INTERNATIONAL GOLF CLUB Immersed in the enchanting forest of the same name southeast of Paris, the course’s narrow fairways are protected not only by the verdant surrounds but also by more than 100 bunkers, necessitating precise shots into some of the more challenging greens in the country. 6,579y/6,016m, par 72; golfdefontainebleau.org Paris Orly Airport: 32miles/52km With facilities that are among the best in Europe, the undulating parkland course boasts a botanic gardenworthy selection of foliage and an elegant American-style target golf layout set just north of the forest of Montmorency. Designed by Jack Nicklaus – his only course in France. 6,837y/ 6,252m, par 72; paris-golf.com Paris Le Bourget: 17miles/27km © GOLF DE FONTAINEBLEAU, © PARIS INTERNATIONAL GOLF CLUB, PHILIPPE MILLEREAU, DAVID SCALETTI CHANTILLY A jewel box of a layout that slices through mature forests with broad fairways and is heavily – and punitively – bunkered on each hole, the Vineuil course’s exceptional challenge is matched by its beauty, as well as a noble pedigree that includes Édouard de Rothschild as former club president. 6,998y/6,399m, par 71; golfdechantilly.com Paris Le Bourget: 19miles/31km MORFONTAINE A highlight in British designer Tom Simpson’s career and relatively under the radar thanks to its no-frills approach, the Grand Parcours – set an hour northeast of the French capital – features rolling fairways buffeted by tall Scots pines and puzzles on each hole that challenge both depth perception as well as shotmaking. 6,562y/6,001m, par 70; golfdemorfontaine.fr Paris Le Bourget: 18miles/30km 39 NetJets

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