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Allan from the product team on the golfing spectacle that even non-golf fans go crazy for.
Next September in France, when Europe’s 12 best golfers take on a dynamic dozen from the US, you don’t want to miss it. There’s nothing like the Ryder Cup in golf — or in sport — here are four reasons why the 2018 version at Le Golf National’s Albatros Course will be special.
1. Stadium atmosphere
The intensity of a Ryder Cup rivalry is obvious during the build up — interviews, digs in the press, social media snipes between players. But on the first tee, don’t expect the noise to have died down and replaced by a respectful silence. Think more raucous than reverential — especially from the American ‘away fans’ — and you’ll be nearer the mark (or pin). Players from both teams embrace it, revving up spectators and reacting to every shot, good or bad. Even the immaculate Albatros course itself appears to have been designed to focus crowd noise towards the players. The result will be the latest episode in a tournament that — like the Davis Cup or British Lions tours — sets the standard for atmosphere in its sport.
2. Visit Paris
The Ryder Cup is rarely actually held in mainland Europe (this is only the second time ever) — with the UK and Ireland usually hosting. So while fans see the world’s greatest golfers grace some of the greatest courses — they don’t usually get to visit an exciting major city. But Paris is just that — so we’ve selected 4 and 5* accommodation with great access to the capital, giving the best of both worlds. Although there are speedy transfers to-and-from the award-winning course from Thursday — Sunday, these are optional. Which means if you prefer to explore Paris one day, you can. With practice on the Thursday and competition play from Friday to Sunday and a city full of stunning sites at your front door, it’s up to you. A sojourn to Paris with the option to take in as much amazing golf as your nerves can stand? Tell us what you want and we’ll help you plan an experience with the perfect balance of Eiffel Tower and 18th green.
3. US resurgence
Europe’s Ryder Cup team spirit has been mythologised in recent years (see the glorious comeback of the ‘Miracle of Medinah’ in 2012). Players like Ian Poulter have outscored higher ranked opponents and the individual brilliance of Tiger Woods hasn’t translated fully to a team format. That’s all changed now with the emergence of young players like Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas. These opponents since junior tournaments have strengthened the US talent pool, with friendly but fierce rivalries pushing each other to new heights. Of course experience is important but there will be several 20-something major winners in the US team — and plenty of camaraderie.
4. Decent weather
The last three Ryder Cups in Europe were held at Gleneagles, Celtic Manor and Ireland’s K Club. At these world-class courses you’re guaranteed beautiful countryside and top-class competition — but you can’t usually say the same about the weather. The wind and torrential rain in Wales 2010 might have made for some interesting tee shots — but being a sodden fan lessens the fun a bit. Nobody can control the weather but late September in France looks a better bet for perfect playing (and watching) conditions. A beautiful, cultured city and a dramatic intercontinental golfing clash — not a bad way to see out next summer!
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