Disneyland Paris has been chosen as the host venue for the 2018 Junior Ryder Cup, an announcement which seeks to boost golf in France in the hope of unearthing the next Victor Dubuisson.
As well as its theme park, Disneyland Paris boasts a championship golf course, which hosted a European Challenge Tour event back in 1993, won by five-time major champion Phil Mickelson. More recently, Golf Disneyland Paris also staged the Challenge de France in 2011 on the Challenge Tour.
The venue, located east of the French capital rests on the grounds of Disneyland Paris, a resort which attracts approximately 15 million visits per year. Organisers hope Disneyland’s Junior Ryder Cup will add to the family orientated atmosphere of the event which was established as an international showcase for golf’s next generation.
"This is an opportunity to seize if we wish to develop golf in France, in Europe and throughout the world."
Ryder Cup director Richard Hills is confident that the 2018 edition of the Junior Ryder Cup will boost not only French golf, but European golf as a whole.
“This is an historic day for the development of the Ryder Cup, Junior Ryder Cup and European golf,” said Hills.
“The French Golf Federation and Disneyland Paris both present unique assets, as well as top quality entertaining activities. This is an opportunity to seize if we wish to develop golf in France, in Europe and throughout the world.”
The venue also fits the legacy programme of the French Golf Federation (FFG), as the country aims to use the appeal of the Ryder Cup and the Junior Ryder Cup as a catalyst to spread the game to children across the nation.
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Pascal Grizot, vice president of the French Golf Federation and chairman of Ryder Cup France 2018 is sure the 2018 contest will be a fantastic spectacle that will capture the imagination of youngsters all over France.
“Paris and the Ile de France region will give us the unique opportunity to turn the 2018 edition into the most beautiful in the history of the Ryder Cup,” said Grizot.
“This Junior Ryder Cup will also allow a great number of young persons to come discover the best players in junior golf in a venue that makes children dream all year long.”
Junior Ryder Cup is a glimpse into the future
The Junior Ryder Cup has been the platform for some of the game’s top players to showcase their skills on the international stage.
In all, five players competing at Gleneagles this week have been part of the Junior Ryder Cup in years gone by: Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia and Dubuisson from Paul McGinley’s European team as well as the USA’s Jordan Speith and Hunter Mahan.
This year’s match took place at Blairgowrie Golf Club in Perthshire, with local boy Bradley Neil testing himself against the might of the US.
Unfortunately for Scottish Amateur Golfer of the Year Neil, Europe lost 16-8, going down to the American’s for the fourth year in a row.
However, with McIlroy and Garcia among the names of former Junior Ryder Cup players, Neil will no doubt be hoping to use the event as a springboard to golf’s top table.