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.
Date: July 10, 2019