Evian showcasing one other major difference

Photo Credit: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

New Name, New Look…In addition to becoming a major and changing the title to The Evian Championship, this week’s tournament in Evian will showcase one other major difference from years past – a multi-million dollar, challenging redesign of the golf course.

The Evian Resort Golf Club underwent a major renovation over the past 14 months that included reshaping of all of the greens and adding 82 new bunkers. Golf architects Dave Sampson, Jeremy Slessor and Steve Smyers were instrumental in helping alter the course, focusing in large part on the four-hole finishing stretch. Formerly a reachable par-5, the 18th hole has been transformed into a demanding par-4, creating a more dramatic finish. Additional changes include “swing” holes on the newly redesigned 13th and 15th holes which can be set up as reachable par-5’s and the new par-3 16th hole which will be played over water to a pitched green. The fifth hole has also been shifted from a par-4 to a picturesque and demanding par 3.

“I was really amazed to see the course change dramatically in one year,” said Inbee Park, who won the 2012 Evian Masters at this venue. “I couldn't imagine how much work they have put in to make this work. This course looks great. The layout is great. I think it's really like a true major golf course now.”

There have been some challenges with the redesign of the golf course due to some less than ideal weather in the Evian area over the past couple weeks. But while heavy rain in recent days and a hotter than usual August have hampered the efforts to have the golf course in perfect shape for this week, the players appreciate the effort that has gone into making this a more challenging track and they look forward to seeing how things shape up in the years to come.

“You have to open up for the changes,” said Suzann Pettersen. “I think the changes also kind of grow on you as you get to know this course better. It's kind of hard to say after having only played it a couple of times.

“Obviously a year into a huge project like this, it might take two years for it to settle in. The changes are going to be tough. Probably a much tougher course the way the greens are designed now. It's going to be a tough course to play and compete. I guess that's what really decides a major champion. You have got to be able to excel no matter what course.”

Topics: The Evian Championship

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