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Major changes planned for Evian Masters Golf Course

The Evian Masters Golf Course will be redesigned in September 2012 after this year’s Evian Masters presented by Société Générale, in preparation for the fifth Major on the LPGA tour, The Evian Championship, in 2013. The tournament has been designated a major championship since 1998 on the Ladies European Tour.

In preparation for this year’s Evian Masters presented by Société Générale, the existing course has been lengthened by 112 yards from 2011, with four tees having been put back, on holes one, two, nine and 14.

The players have given their approval to the minor changes, with the lengthening of four holes this year, such as European Solheim Cup players Sandra Gal and Azahara Muñoz.

Gal said: “I think the changes are good. It’s a little longer and a little more challenging but I think it’s good for everyone.” Meanwhile Muñoz added: “Just four holes are a little longer so I like longer courses, so I’m really happy with the changes. I don’t like 14 because it was already long enough and they made it even longer but it is what it is and I might as well like it because they are not going to do what I like. Number nine is longer, used to be reachable and now is pretty close to being reachable. And they changed number two, a little longer, I kind of like that one.”

Meanwhile the twice event champion in 2009 and 2011 Ai Miyazato from Japan felt that she would need to change her strategy for the 2012 event. She said: “This year will be a little bit different. It’s a bit longer than last year so I think my strategy will be different.” She added that her strength is her short game and putting.

Sketch of how the remodeled 18th hole will look in 2013, with a new lake feature and timber wall

As lead consultants to the Evian Royal Resort, European Golf Design (EGD) is to undertake the redesign and renovation of the existing course.

The majority of the current routing will remain in place with all greens, tees, bunkers and water features remodelled and upgraded. Holes 5, 15, 16, 17 & 18 have been redesigned to introduce more drama and spectator viewing areas. The redesign work will include improving the quality and strategic challenges of the golf course not just for The Evian Championship but also for the Evian Royal Resort guests.

Sketch of the remodeled 16th hole, which will be a par 3

Dave Sampson of EGD explained how there will be two periods of construction. The first took place from November 2011 through to March 2012, while the second period will start in late September and be completed in April 2013, ready for the 2013 Evian Championship.

Sketch of the remodeled fifth hole, which will be a par 3

In addition to remodelling the holes, as you can see through the illustrations here, many of the green complexes will be rebuilt to create larger greens allowing a greater variety of pin positions and the bunkers will be made smaller in scale and proportion with a rather narrow course.

Julian Mooney, Director of Agronomy, Turfgrass Consultancy Ltd, has been involved in preparing the golf course for this year’s tournament and also for the development of the golf course moving forward.

He explained: “Turfgrass Consultancy Ltd are agronomists for Evian Masters Golf Club.  Our role is to assist Evian in all matters of agronomic preparation and presentation. This involves tournament preparation and execution and following this year’s event, project agronomy.  Beyond event week we have been working closely with the course architects and client to determine the agronomic specification for the new course. In layman’s terms we are designing the technical specification to deliver the new playing surfaces. This involves designing the desired performance characteristics of the Rootzone (Greens mix) and specifying components such as seed, turf, fertiliser and drainage. During the project we will visit the site every two weeks to expedite the grow-in of the new turf in advance of The Evian Championship.”

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