Curse of the Ryder Cup? The iconic venues overlooked on the golfing calendar

21/11/2019

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By Iain Carter
BBC golf correspondent
They point the biggest golf events in Europe, but whats the legacy for the classes that hold the Ryder Cup? Is it that they vanish from significance after being center of the golf world soon?
All these are questions worth considering in the week which Le Golf National plays host to the Open for the first time since the continent victory over the USA .
One thing is for certain, this autumnal running of the national Open in continental Europe wont be as expansive.
The tournament was changed by a prime place in the schedule at the end of June and is currently worth only #1.4m compared with the #5.6m handbag that was played for last year.
Make no mistake, there will still be significant golf on display. The scramble qualify for the Race and to keep cards is intensifying.
And the likes of Thomas Bjorn, Jose Maria Olazabal, Martin Kaymer and Jamie Donaldson include some stardust.
However, when Alex Noren won 15 weeks back he beat a field that included defending Spanish giants Jon Rahm champion Tommy Fleetwood along with Sergio Garcia, US celebrity Justin Thomas and Ryder Cup stalwart Ian Poulter.
Bjorn returns to the spectacle of the tumultuous victory of the team as one of the playing attractions instead of main strategist for an victory.
That 171/2-101/2 win created lifelong memories and scenes to inspire future generations. The class – setup perfectly to match the home team – and also the location near Paris played big roles in making a iconic week for European golf.
However, it feels like Le Golf National can follow a lot of venues that staged house games into obscurity. Courses that were basics around the circuit have faded from significance.
The Ryder Cup was hosted by the Belfry and anything you consider the course, which does have its founders, that the design from the English midlands turned into a significant portion of the cloth of European golf history.
But a Tour event has not been staged by the Brabazon Course . Celtic Manor in south Wales vanished four decades.
The K Club, which hosted the 2006 match was the European Open between 1995 and 2007s home. It vanished from the calendar other as the Irish Open was maintained by it.
Gleneagles staged this years Solheim Cup and the 2018 Team Championships before putting about the 2014 Ryder Cup, however its deal died.
Only Valderrama (1997 Ryder Cup) in southern Spain has remained a routine stop for the continents leading players in the aftermath of holding among the biennial jousts between Europe and the US.
Hence the portents are not good at a time once the worth of the French Open has somewhat diminished, particularly for Le Golf National.
Initially the French Federation signed a 12-year deal that would have obtained them through to 2022 together using the tournament being ensured to be well worth a minimum of 3m euros.
This crashed with the loss of prime sponsor Alstom, but for 2016 a rewarding deal was gained by the European Tour with Chinese conglomerate HNA. The agreement values 25m euros appeared to fasten the event status.
But that deal fell through leaving this tournament no longer able to warrant a spot at the elite Rolex Series of the tour. So now it sits in this October date detached from the limelight it commanded.
The change of date is acceptable, the largest tournaments should have the best dates, Pascal Grizot, president of Frances 2018 Ryder Cup committee, admitted to LEquipe this past calendar year.
Why the European Union didnt do more to support the tournament, Nevertheless, the official questioned. Why did not they decide to assist the French Open and the federation as we had been extremely loyal for the Ryder Cup? He asked.
The easy answer comes down to cash, such as with so many former Ryder Cup venues. Theres money generated to put these places on the map after of Maintaining golfs biggest event, the aim was fulfilled, but it vanishes.
It might prove a story to get Le Golf National. According to the program of next year that the French Open will return to high summer, however there is no word on which path will stage the championship nor the magnitude of its handbag.
Places instantly resonate with golfing lovers K Club, The Belfry, Celtic Manor, Gleneagles and potentially Le Golf National are all not just places that have carved places in the match folklore.
They also offer evidence that business reality leaves room for nurturing and maintaining that golfing history.

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