A group of elite golfers has gathered at The Irish Hotel, a stylish hotel on the banks of the River Seine in central Paris, to discuss what they know about the game of golf, from its origins in the United States to its current form in France.
The aim is to help educate the public on the game and, more importantly, to give players, managers and their families a more complete understanding of the game, the players say.
“Golf is the sport that was born out of a need to create an environment where you can learn and practice, and to enjoy the game,” said Rory McIlroy, the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world and a former British Open champion.
“It’s a very different game from other sports, and it’s one that I’ve been involved in since I was a young boy.”
The tournament, dubbed “A Golf History,” takes place on the same day that the U.S. Open, the men’s and women’s Masters golf tournaments in France, will be held.
It is expected to draw in around a million spectators, and the players will also be in attendance.
The idea behind the tournament, according to a press release from the French Tourism Authority, is to “create a more interactive and social environment that will be both fun and informative.”
The group, which includes five men’s golfers and four women’s golf players, includes the former Wimbledon champion David Ferrer, the French Open champion Martina Navratilova and a trio of young American golfers including Bubba Watson, the reigning US Open champion and former No. 2 seed, and Jason Day, the former No: 7 seed who won the British Open last year.
The Irish Times spoke with five of the golfers who are in attendance to learn more about the topic.
All five agreed that golfers in France have a very long history in France and that the tournament will help raise awareness of the sport.
“We’re trying to make it a little bit more accessible, so people can have a little more information about the sport,” said McIlroys teammate Martina, who is also a golf coach at a French university.
“It’s something I’ve done for a while, but to see it in such a big way with such a high profile and such a huge number of people is really exciting for me.
It’s just fantastic.”
The event is expected fill the space left by the American Open.
The event, which was originally called “A Tour of the World” and “The Masters of Golf,” is set to take place this year in Augusta National Park in Georgia.