1. Keepin’ on Truckin’
Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge is bankrolled by Jean-Claude Forestier, head of the Petit Forestier empire that leases refrigerated lorries to companies and individuals all over Europe.
In May 2008, Forestier – a keen golfer himself – decided to indulge his passion and bought the PGA France Golf du Vaudreuil.
To further encourage the growth of the game in France, and to promote his golf course, Forestier launched Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge in 2013 and it has fast become one of the most popular events on the European Challenge Tour.
The players are constantly reminded of their host’s background as they tee off on every hole between mini replicas of Forestier’s trucks.
2. Amateur hour
With amateur golf enjoying its moment in the sun following the exploits of Paul Dunne and co at The Open Championship last week, Le Vaudreuil Golf Challenge welcomes back Clément Sordet.
The 22 year old finished tied for second place last year as an amateur, building on his excellent top 20 finish in 2013, after an excellent final round of 63.
Now a professional, Sordet finished tied for 26th at last week’s Fred Olsen Open de España, and there are six amateurs in the field this week – can one of them become the Challenge Tour’s first amateur winner since Julien Brun won his home event, the ALLIANZ Golf Open Toulouse Metropole, in 2012?
Whoever takes victory this week will be looking back at the recent history books and smiling when they see the fortunes of last year’s field.
Andrew Johnston claimed victory 12 months ago on his way to topping the Challenge Tour Rankings and earning a place on The European Tour for this season.
Runner-up to the Englishman was another of 2014’s graduates, Byeong-hun An, and both men have inspired the current crop of Challenge Tour players with their exploits this season.
The BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth was the most notable scene of success for both men, with Johnston winning himself a new car with a hole-in-one in the first round and An claiming his maiden European Tour title, something this week’s winner at Le Vaudreuil will be keen to replicate.
Standing on the lakeside overlooking the par three 10th and the 18th green, Le Vaudreuil’s clubhouse cuts a memorable figure with its handsome thatched roof.
Even though it sits perfectly in its current picturesque surroundings, the clubhouse, one of the finest in France, was not originally built on Le Vaudreuil’s site.
Instead it was a farmhouse dating from the 17th century and was moved brick by brick from its original location in Thiberville, near Bernay, to its new spot, and given a new purpose as a golf clubhouse.