This year marks the first time in the history of the Ryder Cup that this storied golf tournament is being played in France. The competition pitting the best professional golfers from the United States versus the best from Europe dates to 1927. Played every two years, 2018 is the 42nd edition of the classic clash between two continents. The Ryder Cup is being played in Guyancourt, about a 30-minute train ride southwest of Paris, on the Albatros Course of Le Golf National.
The events kicked off on Tuesday, September 25 with practice rounds. Team Europe and Team USA got acquainted with the course in an informal round of play. Putting and chipping from various locations of the greens, spectators were able to get a good look at their favorite players. Team practice rounds will continue on Wednesday and Thursday. Attending on these preliminary days allows spectators to get a look at superstars like Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth.
The real completion kicks off on Friday, Sept 28 with four alternating shot foursomes, as well as four best ball matches. Saturday, Sep 29 will be the same format as Friday. On Sunday, Sept 30, the format is twelve single matches. Each match play event is worth one point, with 28 total points available. The team that reaches 14.5 points is the winner. However, since the United States is the defending champion, they only have to win 14 points to retain the Ryder Cup.
After the pros finished up their practice rounds on Tuesday, the Celebrity Ryder Cup began. Stars of stage, sport and even politics made up the rosters for Team Europe and Team USA. Fans lined the ropes to watch some of their favorite celebrities try their hand at golf (and possibly get an autograph or photo). Participants included Jamie Dornan, Naill Horan, Danny Boon, Gy Forget, David Ginola, Luis Figo, Yannick Noah, Laura Flessel and Alessandro Del Piero for Team Europe. Team USA was made up of Kelly Slater, Condolezza Rice, John McEnroe, James Blake, Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Nick Jonas, Greg Kinnear, Luke Wilson and Michael Phelps.
On Wednesday after the pros’ morning practice rounds, the Junior Ryder Cup kicks off. On Thursday afternoon there’s a concert located in the West Village.
Hospitality options are scattered throughout the course, but primarily in the West and East Village. Choose from casual food like fish & chips, meat pies and burgers, or head to the Moët & Chandon Brasserie in the West Village for three courses and a ½ bottle of wine for €95. While you’re in the West Village, look for the BMW tent, Rolex store and the France tent. Sponsored by Atout France, you’ll find tourism and golf information about various regions in France. You can practice your putting and even take a souvenir photo.