Report: Golf in France largely unaffected by Ryder Cup visit in 2018
The 2018 Ryder Cup will long be remembered as a European victory, but now 10 months removed from the event, it doesn’t seem to be considered a French victory. According to a report from the AFP, a French news agency, the effect of one of golf’s biggest events visiting France has been negligible.
According to the report, the French Golf Federation has seen a 2.5% increase in membership registration since last summer, a positive step to be sure. But for a country that has always been slow to approach the game, the impact of the RC wasn’t as great as expected.
And as for visiting golfers, any excitement surrounding the first Ryder Cup in France has since subsided.
“Nothing has changed,” one golf tourism manager told AFP. “We had a slight outbreak of fever during the competition in September 2018, but that’s all. We are at the same level of bookings as before.”
The report does detail some minor victories on the participation front, notably that Ugolf, a French golf course management company, has seen its best participation growth in a decade, according to its director Pierre-Andre Uhlen. But again, the expectations were set much higher.
Back when France won the right to host the event, its goal was 600,000 registered golfers by 2022. To reach those numbers would require 46% cumulative growth over the next 30 months, an incredible goal considering a top-ranking golf official dubbed France “not a golf country” just last fall.
France won its original bid in 2011, beating out Spain as the main competition. The next European country to host the Ryder Cup will be Italy in 2022, with Rome as the backdrop to one of the most exciting events in golf.