After a jubilant European victory at the Ryder Cup last month some of the BRS Golf by GolfNow team had the chance to walk in the footsteps of our champions and play Le Golf National. Here’s how they got on…
Product owner, James Donaghy, writes: “What a Ryder Cup it was in Paris at Le Golf National! The atmosphere was incredible, particularly around the first tee on Sunday. I’ve never experienced anything like that at a golf tournament before.
“We were given an amazing opportunity to play the course on the Monday, the day after the tournament was over. Playing the same holes where we watched the drama unfold the day before was surreal. The grandstands surrounding us on the tees and greens made it a completely unique experience and a lot of fun. I can’t imagine the nerves the players felt when the stands were full!
“Le Golf National was in superb condition and I would say it played tough but fair. It wasn’t particularly long unless the wind was against you on some holes. Hitting the fairways was key, because the rough was very thick, meaning you couldn’t hit more than a short iron from it. There was plenty of great holes but the 1st, 7th, 13th, and 18th were my favourites. The whole day was an experience to remember and we’re very grateful to GolfNow for giving us the opportunity.”
Lucy Simpson, course sales associate, continues the story: “I don’t remember ever voluntarily setting an alarm for six hours before a tee time – but that’s exactly what I did for Sunday 30 September in Paris! Having had a great Saturday soaking in the atmosphere and being just arm’s length from the best players in the world, I couldn’t wait for the Sunday singles.
“It was beyond worth it, and a golf tournament and weekend I won’t forget! Adding to the excitement was the fact I knew I was going to be fortunate enough to play the course, with Sunday pins, on Monday.
“It was a surreal experience and it made you truly appreciate how good these guys really are. Two stunning shots that come to mind are Justin Thomas’s drive on 18 on the Sunday afternoon and Rory’s recovery on the 13th on the Friday afternoon. To be able to try and emulate those is something I won’t forget.
“As James mentioned, the course was in superb condition with hardly a blade of grass or grain of sand out of place – but you had to hit the fairway. Find the second cut of rough and it was difficult to advance the ball more than 100 yards. Despite the difficulty of the rough, it was a really fun round of golf and the water holes added to this. Our group played nearest the pin on 15 and 18 from the spots where members of both teams found themselves the day before. A huge thank you to GolfNow for the opportunity – another addition to the list of what makes this company a great place to work!”
An our finance director, Peter Stevenson, sums up his experience: “Playing Le Golf National the day after probably one of the most memorable Ryder Cup tournaments for atmosphere, excitement and pure enjoyment, was a once in a life time opportunity not to be missed! I’ll never forget the grandstand on the first hole. Think what the pros must have been feeling before teeing off!
“The fairways were narrow but like carpets and the rough was “roouuughhh” like a bad hangover! I remember Lucy saying to James and I: ‘If you’re going to miss the fairway, miss well and land it on the hills!’ The excitement of the water holes, especially 1,2,15, 16 & 18, was a real buzz. I tried to recreate shots of Tommy Fleetwood and Rory, however mine were very different!
“The final walk across the bridge to the 18th green surrounded by water was surreal and I imagined for a second that it was me celebrating the victory with the Europeans! The course reminded me a little of Lough Erne in Northern Ireland and every hole was stunning in its own way. A huge thanks to GolfNow for making the 2018 Ryder Cup an unforgettable experience!”