The 18-hole layout at Golf d’Arcangues is a Ron Fream design that made its debut in 1991. Set out on property that’s been in the hands of the Arcangues family since 1150, the course came about when brothers Guy and Jean decided to transform some of their agricultural acres into a golfing facility.
Advised by golf professional Olivier Leglise and supervised by Arnaud and Avelino d’Arcangues, the brothers were able to soften the more severe contours on the estate to allow the fairways to flow in a natural order, following two returning loops around the family estate.
According to the Peugeot Golf Guide , “this is not a long course but it is physically tiring enough for golfers to need to stay focused until the very end. Bunkers and greens are carefully designed and very much in play. The watchword here is precision play… it is very different from other courses in the region and so comes as a welcome alternative”.
Often you encounter a surprise course on a 4 or 5-day golf trip involving more than half a dozen layouts and this was it on a recent venture into the southwest corner of France. Quite frankly, it would have been overlooked if the advice of a tour operator has not been taken so it always pays to listen to those with local knowledge.
Thirty-five lots for housing were sold to finance the project and these buildings are scattered around the property at a very discreet distance from the golfing action.
I expected a decent track as it was designed when American architect Ron Fream was with Golfplan and he was involved in many high quality golf projects around the world. What I didn’t anticipate was just how well appointed the course would be, nor how well maintained it looked.
On the front nine, I especially liked the par three 6th. It’s not the longest of the four short holes but it plays across a little valley and uphill to a severely sloping green so I can fully understand why it attracts a strong stroke index rating of 10.
On the back nine, there’s a lovely little 3-hole loop from the 13th to the 15th, accessed via a tunnel, routing a section of the course around the ancestral Châteaux d’Arcangues and it ends with one of the strangest sights I’ve ever seen on a course: an old tree bent over the 15th green at a weird angle, with its drooping trunk supported by a big wooden post!
This course currently lurks at the tail end of the Top 100 for France but I wouldn’t be surprised to see it make a positive upward move when the chart is next re-ranked.