On Wednesday 24 October 2O21, we, students of Sports & Media of ISCPA, went to visit Le Golf National.
The trip started shortly afternoon. After taking the metro, train and bus, we arrived at the impressive driveway of their main building. We immediately saw three gigantic golf tees in the three French flag colours. Something we often see: the French are proud to be French. Afterwards, we entered through a huge hall where a lady greeted us and welcomed us to the domain. She introduced us to their communications and events manager, a man from Wales.
He then took us into the meeting room where he gave a short presentation explaining the Golf National, their most important event being the 2018 Ryder Cup and their social media channels. The following things shocked me the most during the presentation:
- It is a fairly new club with new pitches (1990). Before that, the terrain was just agricultural land without much difference in height. Now it is a lively teletubbie landscape with mountains, sandpits and large ponds. Playing in a very old club in Belgium where the terrain is just naturally formed over the hundreds of years the club has been there, I found this very crazy done! But it does make for some magnificent and technical holes.
- The club is actively working on its image. They want to get rid of the idea that golf is only for elderly gentlemen on Sunday afternoons. They do this through numerous fun events for young and old, such as: golf in the dark, initiation days for people who have never played golf, camps for young golfers, etc.
- This also ties in with the club’s desire to make golf affordable. This is because many people do not play golf because it is a rather exclusive and expensive sport. It is therefore not always accessible. But that is not the case with Le Golf National. Anyone can become a member and membership starts at 100 euros.
All this was in English, which was very pleasant for us foreign students. Afterwards, we got to ask him some questions about his job and the club itself. He told us how he ended up in Versailles in the middle of a pandemic when he did not yet know the language. However, after one and a half years of working under a team full of Frenchmen, the man speaks fluent French. After this, we were allowed to walk around the club. Despite the cold, it was a very nice and green walk.
The day ended with a hot tea and coffee in the clubhouse to warm up, before we jumped back on the bus, train and metro to Paris.
Linh Eliano, Elisa Vincke & Gilberte De Smet