Albatros Course at Le Golf National - holes 1 and 2
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - holes 1 and 2
A pond guards the first and second greens on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National, the 2018 Ryder Cup venue. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Images
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 2
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 2
Water haunts the tee shot on the par-3 second hole on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National, the 2018 Ryder Cup host. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 4
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 4
New fairway bunkers provide more of a challenge on the fourth hole of the Albatros Course at Le Golf National outside Paris. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 5
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 5
The fifth hole on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National bends slightly to the right with all the greenside and fairway bunkers on the left. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 6
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 6
The only defense on the par-4 sixth hole of the Albatros Course at Le Golf National is a hump in front of a long green that can trick players into leaving approach shots short. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 7
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 7
Golfers should aim for the upper fairway on the left to have this view into the seventh green on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 8
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 8
Avoid the front bunker for a shot at par on the par-3 eighth hole on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National in France. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 10
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 10
The 10th hole is the shortest par 4 on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National. Just don't go left. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 11
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 11
The revamped par-3 11th hole on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National features a new pin placement near a fall-off zone that sends balls into the water. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 12
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 12
The 12th green is elevated on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 13
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 13
Water guards the 13th green on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National outside Paris. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 14
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 14
A plateau fairway and a large greenside bunker are obstacles to reach to sloping 14th green on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National in France. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 16
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Albatros Course at Le Golf National - hole 16
The barrage of water on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National continues on the par-3 16th hole. Courtesy of Le Golf National/Millereau KMSP
Albatross Course at Le Golf National - hole 18
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Albatross Course at Le Golf National - hole 18
The par-4 15th and 18th holes on the Albatros Course at Le Golf National outside Paris both end at island greens that share the same piece of land. Courtesy of Le Golf National

Renovation has the Albatros Course at Le Golf National in France ready for 2018 Ryder Cup

GUYANCOURT, France -- The transformation is complete.

From the start, Le Golf National was created with one purpose, hosting tournaments at the home of the French Golf Federation.

Even though Le Golf National's Albatros Course has been the home of the European Tour's French Open 24 times, much work needed to be done to throw golf's biggest party, the 2018 Ryder Cup. A renovation costing 10 million Euros was completed May 1, 2016, signaling the launch of France's coming out party to the golf world.

The fearsome Albatros Course, originally designed on featureless farmland outside Paris by Hubert Chesneau and Robert Von Hagge in 1990, is a tangled minefield of mounds and ponds. The architects reshaped the landscape by building up spectator mounding and carving out dramatic holes, a European version of the PLAYERS Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass, if you will.

The recent renovation was extensive, mainly dealing with infrastructure. Fifteen kilometers of new roads and cart paths were laid. Nine kilometers of pipes now provide drinking water throughout the golf course. The irrigation system was completely modernized. Seventeen new bunkers were built and 28 original ones were reconstructed. Two new lakes and four new pro tees were added. New bulkhead edging now lines every water hazard, providing a refined look. Platform areas outside of playing areas were leveled for grandstands and corporate tents. All this in preparation for what could be the largest Ryder Cup crowds ever, up to 65,000 spectators per day.

A few holes were tweaked as well. The first and 16th greens were redone to locate more pin placements. The biggest change is a new 11th hole, a well bunkered par 3 guarded by a pond.

Water hazards like these are the course's calling card. The first two holes -- a par 4 and par 3 -- wrap around the same pond. Water makes the par 4s at no. 10 and no. 13 dangerous, but nothing compared to the closing stretch of holes. The par 4s at no. 15 and no. 18 finish at dual island greens attached to the same sliver of land in a lake.

Don't be embarrassed about saying bon voyage to a golf ball or two during the round. Even the pros go swimming at Le Golf National.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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