Jean Alain Rives - Five Nations Host
Excitement is building in La Bastide-de-Sérou. "Ecogolf Ariége Pyrénées is very proud to receive, for a second time, the Five Nations Pitch and Putt tournament," says Jean Alain Rives, the Club President of the course that will welcome visitors from Andorra, Basque Country, Catalonia (who were victorious at Ariege-Pyrenees when the tournament was first played there, in 2016) and Galicia as well as the French side (champions in Galicia four years ago).
Rives and his colleagues are working hard to get everything set for a momentous weekend in late July. "The course will be specially prepared, in particular the speed of the greens and improved signage."
Inevitably the Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the preparations, but Jean Alain confirms that the Five Nations tournament will be conducted in "compliance with the health regulations in force and as set out by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and French Golf Federation." Jean Alain is also delighted to confirm that spectators will be permitted to view the action. "The public will be welcomed on the course on Saturday and Sunday."
Asked to describe a hole that might be crucial to the destination of the trophy, Jean Alain declares, "Hole 9 is spectacular because on the way up the players can see the green at their feet." Ironically, the 9th is the shortest hole on the course but it can play very difficult, depending on the pin position.
The French team won't lack local knowledge. "Several French players know the course. The 'regional' is Michel Espanol from Toulouse," muses Rives.
All seems set fair for a hugely exciting 2021 renewal of the Five Nations tournament, for which the trophy will be defended by Andorra.