France will become the first place in continental Europe to host a major golf tournament, it has been announced.
The tournament, called the Evian Championship, will take place at the newly re-developed Evian Resort, on the French shores of Lake Geneva between 12th and 15th September this year. It joins an expanded list of five major tournaments on the LPGA tour, which also includes the LPGA Championship, the US Women’s Open, the Women’s British Open and the Kraft Nabisco Championship, and it is hoped the new tournament will increase the number of visitors enjoying golf holidays in Europe.
The revamped golf resort improves on all already impressive and award-winning golfing destination, which was named Best Resort in France and Best Resort-Golf in France at the World Travel Awards of 2011.
Franck Riboud, chairman of the Danone Group and the Evian Championship, commented on the re-development, and the challenges that the world-class team of architects and course designers faced. He said, "It's true that we benefit from a magical setting. But it's not the beauty of the setting that makes a Major course, it's the way the course plays. We have retained a strong identity, but are attesting our desire to return to “pure golf”. We wanted a grand comeback to what is natural."
The awarding of “major” status to the Evian Championship, which has been running as a tournament under the name the Evian Masters since 1994, is a huge achievement, and testament to the improvements made to the Evian Resort. It is sure to boost France’s status as a top destination for the ever-expanding market of golf tourism, while the championship itself will break new ground as the first tournament of such status to be played away from the shores of the USA and UK.