European Tour venue looks to give golfers the competitive edge The European Tour will make its annual visit to the Golf National on the outskirts of Paris for the Open de France Alstom in July 2010. The Open de France has been a competitive golf tournament for over a hundred years and past winners include some of golf’s legendary players including: Seve Ballesteros (4 victories in 77, 82, 85 and 86), Greg Norman (80), Sandy Lyle (81), Nick Faldo (83, 1988 and 89), Bernhard Langer (84) and José Maria Olazabal (2001). How many French competitions can pride themselves on making the centenary mark? Apart from the Tour de France and Roland-Garros, none can. And after 100 years of championship golf, the Albatros will not disappoint. First played in 1906 at the Golf de la Boulie, the oldest tournament on continental Europe continues to rise among the ranks with the ambition of becoming one of the best European Tour tournaments on the international golfing calendar. The course has unanimous support of the players and the European Tour, which has placed it in line for the Ryder Cup one day. So what is it about the Golf National that has the some of the world’s best golfer coming back for more? “The key to any tournament is quality,” says David Probyn, Assistant Director of Tour Operations for the PGA European Tour. “Quality of ball roll on the greens – it’s not just about pace. Players are looking for true, consistent ball roll. They are looking for consistent surface presentation.” Without a doubt, players at the Open de France get that! How do courses like Golf National produce the consistent, high quality surface that players have come to expect? “Grinders are a critical part of any tournament preparation process. You have to keep the mowers sharp – it’s essential,” states Eddie Adams, European Tour greenkeeping consultant. That’s why the European Tour call upon Bernhard and Company, manufacturers of Express Dual and Anglemaster grinders, to help keep tournament mowers sharp, resulting in a quality of cut that is unsurpassed. “If we are able to host tournaments at courses that produce consistent quality, it helps us sell the tour to players. Bernhard and Company play a big part in helping the Tour produce the turf quality we need for tournaments,” says David. Whether it’s the first tournament or the hundredth tournament for a course - quality proves to be the key.