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Bossey

Bossey, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Bossey, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Rankings
  • AddressChateau de Crevin, 74160 Bossey, France

When a private promoter decided to build a golf course just outside the small French village of Bossey, a mere 10 kilometres south of downtown Geneva, Switzerland, some people wondered how this would work out. After all, Bossey is riding a narrow stretch of pretty hilly land at the foot of the Salève Mountain (also known as the “Balcony of Geneva”), which appears as a 500-metre high cliff that dominates the village. Also, the land for the project was mostly the property of two real estate societies, but these were based in Switzerland, which created an interesting problem for French would-be shareholders at a time when a strict foreign exchange control system had been instituted in France. Furthermore, much of it was protected as forestland, and a lot was in a no-build zone. Finally, it was necessary to buy out tens of small landowners in order to amass enough acreage.

Still, the promoter was undaunted, and called for offers for the planning and development of the course. In 1982, Robert Trent Jones Junior was looking for an entry into the European market, and seized the opportunity. The resulting layout, which opened in 1985, is a surprising, exhilarating and at times frustrating combination of elevation changes, slanted fairways, large, deep and contoured bunkers, sloping and fast greens, sneaky lakes, towering Salève cliffs and wide open views of Geneva and its lake with the French Jura mountains as a backdrop.

The design won Robert Trent Jones Jnr. many accolades, and jump-started a successful golf design business around the continent for his organisation.

Today, the Bossey Golf & Country Club course is still a challenge for every visitor, and probably for the members as well. There is not one level hole on the course. Most will take the player down, up, or a combination of both. The one exception has a very sideways slanted fairway. The connecting paths between the holes can be breath stealers too. Although the course is not particularly long at 5,890 metres from the tips, the RTJII design certainly ups the ante.

Bossey is a dual-nationality golf club, it belongs to both the Swiss and French golf federations, and while it is located in France, the majority of its members come from nearby Switzerland. It is definitely a private venue, with close to 1,000 members, but access for green fee players is possible but limited to weekdays, so plan ahead and accordingly. Don’t be afraid to call, though, the welcome is very warm and personable, wherever you come from.

When a private promoter decided to build a golf course just outside the small French village of Bossey, a mere 10 kilometres south of downtown Geneva, Switzerland, some people wondered how this would work out. After all, Bossey is riding a narrow stretch of pretty hilly land at the foot of the Salève Mountain (also known as the “Balcony of Geneva”), which appears as a 500-metre high cliff that dominates the village. Also, the land for the project was mostly the property of two real estate societies, but these were based in Switzerland, which created an interesting problem for French would-be shareholders at a time when a strict foreign exchange control system had been instituted in France. Furthermore, much of it was protected as forestland, and a lot was in a no-build zone. Finally, it was necessary to buy out tens of small landowners in order to amass enough acreage.

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Course Architect

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Robert Trent Jones Jr.

As a teenager, RTJ2 worked for his father, learning how to run a bulldozer. His dad paid him the union rate for the job and he used the money for flying lessons, obtaining his pilot’s license aged sixteen.

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