Since 2013, it has been one of five Grand Slam tournaments in women’s golf. The Amundi Evian Championship, chaired by Franck Riboud with Jacques Bungert, promotes the discipline and those who practice it. Amélie Bourdin has been director of the tournament since November 2021 and Matthieu Camison took over the management of the Evian Resort Golf Club in January 2017, part of the tournament since 1994.
1. Women’s Swing: Since last year and for 5 years, the French company Amundi has been the title partner of the Amundi Evian Championship. New sponsor, new name, new endowment… Isn’t the tournament about to enter a new era?
Amelie Bourdin: Indeed, the tournament is part of a global dynamic of development of women’s sport in general, and women’s golf in particular. There is a movement of evolution, with a significant increase in the overall prize money of Grand Slam tournaments. The media landscape is becoming denser, with more and more professional, athletic players, prepared like all the greatest champions of all sports…
2. SF: How does the Amundi Evian Championship help promote women’s golf?
Amelie Bourdin: Since its creation in 1994, the Amundi Evian Championship has never ceased to affirm its ambition to promote the performance of women in sport and to participate in the development of women’s golf. It’s a commitment that we initiated nearly thirty years ago, with the undeniable ambition of allowing players to practice their profession in the best possible conditions. Let’s not forget that at that time, women’s golf was really a niche sport and players could not make a living from it! We have largely contributed to making them shine through a real international media showcase.
3. SF: Today, your “prize money” is, for a women’s tournament, particularly high. Was it important to reward the players as much as possible?
A B: Indeed, the arrival of Amundi in 2021 has allowed us to make a new gesture on the “prize money”. Thanks to all our sponsors, it amounted to 6.5 million euros this year. We try to continue to create a positive dynamic for all these women who play golf and try to make a living from their sport. In the 2022 edition of the tournament, the winner takes home $1 million in prize money. If our major status leads us logically to reward sports performance, we do not forget the whole field. In agreement with the LPGA and the other majors, we have decided to give $2 to all players who will not make the cut. Because for many, it is a real challenge to finance a season.
4. S. F: Speaking of accommodation, the setting of The Amundi Evian Championship, it’s the Evian Resort. What is special about this complex founded in 1909?
Matthew Camisson: Already, the setting is absolutely exceptional. You are between the French Alps and Lake Geneva, in a very calm, very natural environment. On the golf side, we have the historic course “The Champions Course” which is over a hundred years old (1904) and which, from a purely technical point of view, is extremely demanding. It’s a real championship course! We are about 400 m above sea level, we almost never have flat feet, so that says a little about the difficulty… The greens are of very high quality, and it is the work of almost an entire life. Hilly and varied, they require a lot of strategy. Once on the green, I want to say that the hardest part begins! We also have an Academy with teaching certified by David Leadbetter. A little box! In addition to the training modules, there is a second 6-hole course, The Lake Course, which allows us to offer our hotel customers a diversified offer. Those in a hurry can slip a golf course into their schedule in less than 1h15.
5. SF: Becoming “Major”, did that change a lot of things?
Matthew Camisson: Already in 2013, when The Amundi Evian Championship became “Major”, the course was completely redesigned. We are the only “Major” in continental Europe, we are very proud of it! Especially since we are not in a big capital, we are in Évian… A small village! I know many golfers are happy to be able to compete on this championship course. It’s like going on a legendary course, and that’s what we hope to become. For this, we take the example of the greatest, like Augusta (one of the most famous and select golf clubs in the world, editor’s note). Of course, we feel small in front of these paths and their history, but we are slowly building our own.
6. SF: Finally, back to the Amundi Evian Championship… This year, it takes place from July 21 to 24, what can we expect, anything new?
A B: This year, our playground is changing, we will welcome the 132 best players in the world. They are our top priority and we are committed to providing them with more and more services. In particular, we have set up a childcare system, thanks to the Kids Club at the Hôtel Royal, because many are mothers! Together with our partner Callaway, we have also developed a whole mounting system. On the other hand, since last year, Franck Riboud has wanted to develop our ephemeral structures so that they distort our exceptional setting as little as possible. In our sponsor villages are installed tents of a somewhat Berber style, very refined. We are pursuing this logic in the heart of the public village with eco-designed wooden structures. The idea is to be eco-responsible, while offering a very friendly welcome, with a central place equipped with a giant screen where you can sit and enjoy!
7. SF: So the future looks green and bright for The Amundi Evian Championship…
A B: It’s true that the 5-year partnership with Amundi brings a bit of serenity. It is added to the faithful involvement of other partners committed to the long term such as Rolex, evian or Danone, which allows us to project ourselves. All our energy can then be focused on the evolution of this magnificent tournament, the well-being of the players, the development of women’s golf in the world and the support of the best young talents throughout our galaxy and its dedicated events.
CM: Our environmental impact is also one of our priorities. The Evian Resort wanted to join the Golf for Biodiversity Program launched by the FFGOLF and the National Museum of Natural History. At the beginning of the year, we obtained the Silver label! A great reward for all our efforts. I also wanted to take up Amélie’s comments on the galaxy and the importance of supporting new generations. In Evian, everything starts with the youngest of the golf school, where we welcome 120 young people and golf school…
A B: It’s a real mission: to grow this tournament and its galaxy, while preserving its DNA, its values and its missions in the service of women’s golf.
By Clotilde Boudet
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For more information on the Evian Resort Golf Club: click here
To read our latest article on the same subject:
The Amundi Evian Championship brings its prize pool to $6.5 million