Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich of Russia founded one of the oldest golfing layouts in France, the Old course at Cannes-Mandelieu in 1891. Subsequently altered by Harry Colt, the layout here is the doyen of golf courses in the region, a venerable old institution that has stood the test of time superbly well.
The Old course is laid out on a flat landscape, close to where the River Siagne meets the sea, and the fairways weave through a small forest of Mediterranean parasol pine trees. Unusually, once golfers have completed the opening two holes, they use a small pontoon ferry beside the railway bridge to access the next ten holes across the river before returning by the same means to complete the round at holes 13 to18.The course is not that long, measuring 6,319 yards from the back tees, but the tree-lined, doglegged fairways of the Old lead to subtly sloping greens protected by trademark Colt bunkers where low scoring is never guaranteed, despite a low slope rating for the course that might indicate otherwise.
This is the home course of Victor Dubuisson. We received a very friendly welcome and had great food in the clubhouse after our round. The setting is lovely, the pine trees very impressive throughout the course but are stopping the grass growing on some tee boxes and overhang fairways. A short river crossing on a raft between the 2nd and 3rd was original. The course is short. 5 par 3´s and two very short par 4 's of 250 and 270m and a par 5 of 416m. The greens are great. The bunkers huge and largely uninteresting and poorly kept. The rakes look like they had come from a garden shop. The fairways and rough are poorly maintained, although I accept it is early season. The weather was warm. I can imagine how wonderful this course would have been in quiet seclusion one hundred years ago. We enjoyed our round, but today there are many superior courses in the area and I would not place this in my top 15 for the region from a golfing perspective.