Being a golf addict, you’re probably aware of the coming Evian Championship, the fifth women’s major to be contested by mid September at the Evian Resort Golf Club 45 minutes away from Geneva. Just four weeks after the Solheim Cup has been won by Team Europe or kept by the American girls, the French tournament will have a slight peppery taste. But the Asian-Pacific players accounting for over 33% of both the entry list and the Rolex Rankings Top 100 are to upset such a venture. Between the Parks, Lees, Kims, they are used to swallow the trophies, occupying most of the top seats on any leaderboard.
At each edition of the well thought French event, the organisers introduce a bunch of new ideas adding more polish to an event nearly perfect at all levels, the players being the first to enjoy the findings. Consequently the tournament management lead by President Franck Riboud is awarded loads of deserved distinctions for their amazing internet site, the well designed luxurious program, the clever communication or the warm welcome…. When qualified, not one player would miss the trip to “The Evian”. Whatever the other Majors – ANA Inspiration, PGA Championship, US Open, British Open – it’s a no contest call, Evian qualities are unparalleled in women’s golf.
Players, officials and guests are pampered at the resort’s two fine hotels. The Royal is a five-starred Palace, one of the very few in France to have been awarded such a distinction. In the same property, just minutes away, the Ermitage is also a good tip for a fine stay at some lower rates. Between the classy decor, the welcome smile and dedication of all the employees, it’s a full pleasure for the players who checked in. The actual Rolex Rankings leaders and past winners since 1994 are granted a suite overlooking the superb Swiss coastline in the distance and a personalized car.
The 120 contestants enjoy a full and free access to the spas, the wellness area, invitations to cocktails, dinners, gifts from the Golden Partners (Rolex, Evian, Société Générale, Renault and Infiniti cars, American Express, Accor Hotel Group), and perhaps a good chunk of the 3,35 million prize money.
The Evian Championship story starts in 1992 when Antoine Riboud (Danone’s pundit) launched a tournament mixing men pros and amateurs. It was boring enough to call in notable women golfers for the same event a year later. The experience was such a success that it lead Antoine to setup the 1st Evian Masters in 1994, then handing the keys of both the tournament and Danone to Franck Riboud. The move proved to be quite fruitful, the Evian Championship being one of best golf events there is and Danone a respected world leader in the Food & Beverage industry.
The number of newcomers visiting the Evian Resort hits high numbers. The Ermitage offers may be the best bet for families. From 4 month old babies to teenagers, boys and girls, the hotel is fully organized to look after and entertain them. Mom and Dad are then free to go and play a 4-ball game with friends, have their swing checked at the well equipped golf academy or enjoy the “Chalet du Golf” tasty menu card.
From May 31st to June 2nd, the Evian Resort welcomes the Jabra Ladies Open, a LETAS tour event. Already a good tournament, it’s become more important, the winner and second placed player being granted a spot at this year’s Evian Championship. The expert’s tip: “Keep your full concentration between two rounds. A stay at the peaceful, quiet and serene Ermitage may be quite helpful”. PPH