Situated an hour’s drive south of Nantes, the course at La Domangère is one of around fifty operated by the Blue Green management group. Designed by Michel Gayon and unveiled in 1988, this 18-hole parkland layout was the first course to be built in the Vendée department of the Pays-de-la-Loire region in west-central France.
With intimidating water hazards threatening at no fewer than thirteen of the eighteen holes here, it’s easy to understand why this course is rated such a tough test from the back tees. Indeed, it attracts one of the highest slope ratings in the country when played from the tips so visitors are advised to be very careful when choosing their tees.
And yet, a round begins here rather benignly with a par three hole, played to a green that’s protected by sand on either flank. The 2nd, a long par four, gives an indication of what’s to follow, bending left off the tee then right to the green, with water encroaching on the right hand side of the fairway as it narrows towards the putting surface.Care must also be exercised at the 597-metre 7th, one of the longest holes you will play anywhere. Rated stroke index 1, this daunting par five is regarded as the signature hole on the Blue Green La Domangère course and it flirts with yet more water on either side of the fairway as it snakes right then left between the tee and a very distant green.