Edwin Brussard, 28, a trainee high school Economics teacher from The Netherlands had never played golf before, or even visited a professional tournament, but after winning the main prize in the 2011 Shot of the Year competition through My European Tour he was able to do both.
Brussard was randomly picked from the thousands who voted Rory McIlroy’s brilliant tee shot on the par three tenth hole during the final round march to victory in the US Open Championship at Congressional as the 2011 European Tour Shot of the Year, winning the fantastic prize of a lesson at the London Golf Club followed by Eurostar to Paris and Le Golf National, host venue of The Ryder Cup in 2018, to watch the Alstom Open de France.
“We may not have been experienced enough to play the course,” said Brussard on his visit to The London Golf Club. “But we had an unbelievable view, and with the sun out on the range, it was a great experience.”
The London Golf Club is a state of the art facility boasting two championship courses – The Heritage which played host to the European Open in both 2008 and 2009, and the second, The International, having been a venue for Stage One of The European Tour Qualifying School and regional Open Championship qualifying in recent years.
Designed by Jack Nicklaus, this championship lay-out is now one of the finest in England, and located ideally just south east of the centre of London.
Head Professional Paul Stuart gave Brussard and his girlfriend their first taste of golf with a wide-ranging lesson utilising the stunning practice facilities at the London Golf Club.
“The lesson was fantastic,” claimed Brussard. “It was a new experience to play the game and he (Stuart) was a brilliant teacher. We had so much fun practicing and seeing our swing on video for over three hours.
“It really was great, and to enjoy it on such a beautiful course was amazing.”
Having been introduced to the game in the ideal setting, next up was the opportunity to see how the best in the world do it at the Alstom Open de France.
After a short trip on the Eurostar to Paris’ Gare du Nord, Brussard got the chance to see his second European Tour Destination, Le Golf National. Opened in 1990, and designed by Hubert Chesneau in consultation with Robert Van Hagge, the ‘Albatross’ course has hosted the Open de France on 20 occasions.
The final four holes are as difficult a closing stretch as you will find on The European Tour, set in a natural amphitheatre which makes for a great atmosphere during any tournament, and bodes well for The Ryder Cup in six years’ time.
Famous for its stadium design, and with the tournament boasting one of the strongest fields on The European Tour International Schedule, it was the ideal chance to see the best in the game at work on one of Europe’s premier layouts.
“The venue (Le Golf National) was absolutely brilliant as it was a course where it was easy to follow the players on all 18 holes,” said Brussard. “The stands at the 18th green and the views were spectacular.
“It was great to stand behind the tee box only three metres from the likes of Ian Poulter, and we were able to see how far and well the guys hit it. We also saw Nicolas Colsaerts, as he is Belgian which is not far from Holland, as well as of course a couple of the Dutch guys, (Joost) Luiten and (Robert-Jan) Derksen.”
Brussard has always been a fan of golf despite having never played the game himself, and his experiences at two of Europe’s premier destinations will have fuelled his enthusiasm.
He said: “Golf is always something I have wanted to do, but have never been able to. I follow the europeantour.com very closely and watch golf on the TV and internet.
“I definitely want to play more, and maybe even go to another pro tournament. Maybe the KLM Open.”
The Shot of the Month competition offers many other exciting prizes through the season with each monthly winner put through to the European Tour Shot of the Year competition at the end of the season.
Register with My European Tour to be eligible to enter all our competitions for the chance to win great prizes throughout the season by clicking here.
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Find out more about The London Golf Club here.
Learn more about Le Golf National here.