Amundi Evian Championship, when women’s golf reaches new heights

Matthew Camison, General Manager of the Evian Golf Club Resort (Photo © Louis Julie) and Amelie Borden, Tournament Director of the Evian Amondy Championships (Photo © TAEC)

Since 2013, it has been one of the “Five Grand Slam Championships in Ladies Golf”. The “Championship of Amondy Evian”, chaired by Frank Ribaud and directed by Yves Perrier, promotes discipline and those who practice it. Amelie Borden has been Tournament Director since November 2021 and Matthew Camison took over the Evian Resort Golf Club in January 2017, the tournament’s staging ground since 1994.

1. Women’s Swing: Since last year and for 5 years, French company Amundi has been the lead partner of Amundi Evian. New sponsor, new name, new gift… isn’t the tournament about to enter a new era?

Emily Bourdain: I think we are in a new era of ladies golf in the world. There is an evolution movement, with a significant increase in overall prize money for Grand Slam tournaments. Also, the media landscape is becoming more intense, with more and more professional sports players, ready like all the great champions in all sports…

2. Sixth: What do you think has allowed women’s golf to get such a spot in the spotlight?

Emily Bourdain: We must not forget that among the five “big” tournaments, three are held in the United States, where parity in sports is very strong. While the Amundi Evian tournament is a women’s tournament, so we don’t have that problem. When we started in 1994, it was precisely so that women in Europe could make a living playing golf!

3. Sixth: Today, your “money prize” is particularly high for a women’s tournament. Was it important to reward players as much as possible?

dad: It is true that Amundi’s arrival has enabled us to make a new gesture in terms of “award money”. Thanks to all the sponsors, it has risen to €6.5 million this year. We try to continue to create positive momentum for all women who play golf and try to make a living from their sport. The goal was for the better to earn a better and better life. There, the winner wins $1 million in prize money. In the past, players who did not pass the cut-off period (who were eliminated after the first two rounds, NLDR) were left with nothing. We told ourselves: All players, whatever their rating, will leave with an amount. Because for many players, financing a season is a real challenge.

4. S. F: Speaking of accommodation, defining the Amundi Evian ChampionshipAnd the It is an Evian resort. What distinguishes this complex, which was founded in 1909?

Matthew Camison: Indeed, the setting is very exceptional. You are between the French Alps and Lake Geneva, in a very calm natural environment. On the golf side we have the historic course, the “Course of Champions” which is over a hundred years old and which is quite challenging from a purely technical point of view. It’s a real championship course! We are about 400 meters above sea level, you have almost no flat feet, and that tells you a bit about the difficulty… The greens are very high quality, and this is a work that lasts almost a lifetime. It’s very large, very hilly and varied, so it has a lot of strategy. Once you get to the green, I want to say…the hardest part begins!

We also have the David Leadbetter Learning Academy, located in Cycle 2, which is a real garden. It’s a small six-hole venue called “The Lake Course”. In this way, we have a diversified offer for our clients. Furthermore, the “Warehouse” has a 1 hour/1 hour 30 exercise potential, and that’s part of the new uses. You no longer have to spend an entire day playing golf. Today, while Madame is having a short golf session, the master is at the spa…or vice versa!

5. Sixth: After you became a “pioneer”, did that change a lot of things?

Matthew Camison: Already in 2013, when the tournament Amundi Evian became a “pioneer”, it was completely redesigned. We are the only “pioneer” in continental Europe, and we are very proud of that! Especially since we are not in a big capital, we are in Evian… It’s a small village! I know many golfers are happy to be able to compete on this championship course. It’s like going down a legendary path, and that’s what we hope to become. Therefore, we take a greater example, such as Augusta (one of the most famous golf clubs in the world, editor’s note). Of course, we feel small in front of these courses and their history, but we are slowly building our own.

6. SF: Finally, let’s go back to the Amundi Evian tournament… this year, it’s July 21-24, what can we expect, anything new?

AB: This year, our playing field is changing, and we will welcome the 132 best players in the world. Two years ago, Frank Ribaud had the will to change our ephemeral structures so that they distorted the place as little as possible. In our patron villages we will be setting up tents in a somewhat Berber style, which are very upscale. Then we focused on the public village, thanks to a local provider, Ephemer Square, which makes eco-designed wood carvings. The idea is to be responsible for the environment, offering a very friendly welcome, with a dining hall equipped with a giant screen where people come to sit and enjoy!

For the players, who are our absolute priority, we have set up a childcare system, thanks to the Royal Hotel Kids Resort, because many of them are moms! Then with our partner Callaway, we designed a complete mounting system.

7. SF: So the future looks green and bright for Amundi Evian…

AB: True, the 5-year partnership with Amundi brings a bit of serenity. Added to our other long-term committed partners such as Evian, Danone or Rollex, this allows us to stand out. We don’t want to make money, we want to reinvest and ask ourselves: What do we want to develop this wonderful tournament towards, by expanding its galaxy to include young people in particular.

cm: Our environmental impact, we can no longer ignore this kind of topic. The Evian Resort wanted to join the Golf for Biodiversity Program, launched by FFGOLF and the National Museum of Natural History. At the beginning of the year we got the silver label! So I wanted to insist on what Amelie had said: Evian, it starts with youth. We have a golf school with 120 guys, and we also play ‘school golf’…

AB: It is a real mission: to grow this tournament and its galaxy, while preserving its DNA, which is to be of service to women’s golf.

Written by Clotilde Bodet

To learn more about the Amundi Evian Championship: click here

For more information about the Evian Resort Golf Club: click here

To read our latest article on the same topic:

Amundi Evian Championship raises prize pool to $6.5 million

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