Les Bordes - North West France - France

Les Bordes,
Les Petits Rondis,
41220 Saint-Laurent-Nouan,
France


  • +33 (0)2 54 87 72 13

  • Isabelle Sautenet

  • Robert von Hagge

  • None


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Les Bordes

The Loire Valley has many a romantic pseudonym, including the Valley of the Kings and the Garden of France. It’s certainly an enchanted and historical region with its vineyards and chateaux. Set in the middle of this Renaissance is the beauty and the beast that is Les Bordes.

Les Bordes was the brainchild of Baron Marcel Bich (the man behind Bic pens) and his friend Yoshiaki Sakurai. Together they committed to paper (presumably by biro) the wooded masterpiece that is consistently ranked as one of the Europe’s greatest courses.

Designed by Texan, Robert von Hagge, on a day when he was at his most wickedly creative. Les Bordes opened for play in 1986 and it’s a supreme challenge. The likeable Jean Van de Velde holds the current course record of 71 (one under par) so don’t visit Les Bordes expecting to play to handicap, this monster layout stretches to 7,062 yards from the tips. It really is as difficult as its reputation suggests.

La Sologne occupies an area of approximately 1,500 sq kilometres and the region offers tranquil walks around lakes and woodland and von Hagge has utilised some of Sologne’s lakes to dramatic effect with island greens and water coming into play on no less than twelve holes.

Les Bordes has a slight American feel to it, both in terms of design and conditioning but there is no doubting that you are in France. There is more style here on this tournament condition layout than just about any other course in France. And what’s most impressive is that visitors can actually stay and play here these days… what sheer unadulterated delight.

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Reviews for Les Bordes

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Description: There's a slight American feel to the golf at Les Bordes, both in terms of design and conditioning, but there is no doubting that you are in France. Rating: 5.6 out of 6 Reviews: 16

We played Les Borde in June 2018 and all I can say it was out of this world. I have been lucky enough to play many fantastic courses all over the world and I have to say this is my favourite, my golfing world hit a new high on this course. No... it wasn't because I played well.. infact I played pretty poorly on the well anticipated day , its just that the place is so magical that it tops my charts. I wont spoil it too much for anyone but I would wholeheartedly say that at least 16 of the 18 holes would make a "signature hole" on most courses on the planet. Every hole has clearly had a mass of thought and design put into it and if I am ever lucky enough to play it again, I will be more aware of some places not to go and some that you can. As regards getting to play it.... well good luck, it took a lot of favour pulling in on my part but we got there in the end. On another note same as a few other reviewers we played Les Aisses the day before which was a total surprise as it doesn't seem to have amazing reviews, however that was also and definitely worth a visit, not as good as les Borde but as good as most courses I have played. If you manage to play Les Borde you will love it , trust me

6 / 6
Les Bordes
November 07, 2018


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I last played at Les Bordes almost eleven years ago (so a lot has happened since those relatively carefree, innocent days when I was still in my late forties) and I never thought I’d get the chance to come back but the opportunity arose for a return visit a couple of months ago so it just goes to show that you never know how things will turn out for you in golfing circles.

There’s still the same low-key vibe to the clubhouse Les Bordes Golf Course - Photo by reviewer and the pro shop and there’s no big statement 1st tee box or large 18th green sited next to these buildings for onlookers to put pressure on those beginning or finishing their round – instead, the start and end points are positioned a discreet distance away, allowing golfers to get on with their match in peace and quiet.

Once you’re out on the course, you feel as though you have the place to yourself (you probably do, actually!) with the tree-lined fairways rarely offering a glimpse of any hole other than the one you’re currently playing. It’s such a peaceful place to play golf, set within a large forest that keeps the outside world at bay.

Be prepared to encounter water hazards (especially at three of the four short holes) and sand (I’d forgotten about the large waste bunker that runs along the right of the 6th before cutting across in front of the green) as you progress along this unique golfing journey – one that’s quite a walk if you choose to go on foot.

The course was playing very long because of the rain that had fallen in the previous few days but lush parkland golf is the name Les Bordes Golf Course - Photo by reviewer of the game at Les Bordes anyway so you should never expect too much by way of fairway roll here because of how the course is set up. Not for nothing is there a board in the clubhouse listing the names of those who have broken 80 (including Top 100’s Fergal O’Leary) when playing a course designed and maintained to test the very best of elite players.

I didn’t think it was proper to have so many elevated fairways and greens when I was last here but, the more that I now think about it now, if that’s what’s necessary to enable golfers to play above the surrounding water table in such a natural environment then really we should be admiring what is, in effect, a marvel of engineering within the beautiful Sologne region.

I do hope the club can find a way to open up the course for green fee play, even if it’s on the limited basis of several times a week, because interested golfers should be able to discover just how good the layout is. Not only that, having Les Bordes acting as a magnet to attract visiting golfers might also have a spin off benefit for other golf facilities in the vicinity, like the much under-rated Les Aisses.

Jim McCann

6 / 6
Les Bordes
August 01, 2018


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David Oliver
August 02, 2018

It would seem the LB have relaxed their playing protocols as 3 of us played 10 days ago (although the application process and vetting is thorough). 2 of the group had played there previously, albeit many years ago. We also played Les Aisses (it is my review below yours !) and loved it. LB remains a truly wonderful golfing experience. The isolation is almost cathartic !. The course is magnificent (none of us were keen on the par 3, 16th). David O

In the middle of the Sologne forest, plenty of lakes and superb shaping. Very challenging course from the back tees. A must play course but difficult to access...

5 / 6
Les Bordes
July 22, 2017


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Les Bordes is a monster. Certainly the most challenging of the French courses we’ve seen, even to the point of being far too tough for most. The design from Van Haage’s firm is that of a US parkland course on steroids with water on many of the holes. The conditioning is superb but that should not be a surprise with a small handful of members the last few years. I’d be amazed if this course receives a thousand rounds a year, perhaps less, and while I don’t know exact numbers I believe there to be less than 20 members.

The experience is very unique with its lovely clubhouse that fits perfectly in the French countryside. The cottages where we stayed were perfect and very understated, reminiscent of Dismal River Nebraska. The service was impeccable as you might expect at such a high-end members club. They even went as far as to keep the kitchen staff there until our arrival which was on the later side. Pre dinner drinks in front of a huge fireplace in the bar area and then we relocated to the dining area and in front of another. Not often you can talk about a truly unbelievable dining experience at a golf club. Les Bordes does French cuisine justice!

The course is really set up on a huge piece of land and even though the 4 of us are diehard walkers even we were advised to take the carts. Really it’s needed as there are some pretty long distances between holes. As already mentioned the course is not at all forgiving, it’s long and there are hazards everywhere. It also has its share of island greens. Nearly all par 3’s are over water and several of the other holes border water. Perhaps a bit too much for my liking but there really isn’t any poor holes on the course.

The 1st hole has an island green surrounded by sand which is relatively unique. No two holes are the same but there are a few characteristics like the water that you see very often. I will admit to not being the biggest fan of parkland golf as compared to true links golf or firm and fast heathland but Les Bordes is really an excellent design that will really challenge the best the golfers and I’m sure that’s what it was made for.

If you can break 80 from their back tees your name goes up on a board of names to have accomplished this. In short, they pride themselves on having a tough course where not a blade of grass is out of place. It’s an American experience in the heart of France.

The greens are the simply fantastic as well and certainly the fastest rolling greens and most perfectly manicured I’ve ever seen in Europe. Even a step above the likes of Queenwood and that says a lot. At just over 7,000 yards the course was playing very soft and thus also very long. If you ever have the opportunity to go experience Les Bordes then jump on it. Don’t expect classic golf, it’s modern parkland target golf arguably at its best.
5 / 6
Les Bordes
September 24, 2014


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Played the course Friday; one of two groups that day! From the moment you arrive it takes your breath away. Conditioning is second to nothing I've played before though I prefer the fairways a little firmer. A mere quibble. You stand on the tee at every hole and think oh crickey. The long grass is utterly impermeable and the shape of the holes, green complexes and bunkering is to say the least...fiendish. If I ever had the cost of membership I wouldn't hesitate. The rooms are delightful and watching the mist over the 18th at dawn is so peaceful. The staff, food and facilities are off the clock. AWESOME is not undeserved
6 / 6
Les Bordes
September 06, 2014


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I was invited to Les Bordes by a good friend, who had played the course previous, he said it was very special, one not to miss, I obviously accepted his invitation. Once accepted I did what I always do, I searched the web for information and reviews, there was very little recent information available, however what was there was fantastic, including a comment of this is 'Millionaires Golf'. What did they mean? After a four hour journey we arrived at a gate leading to a very long driveway, leading to another gate, Once through the gate you get your first site of the golf course, empty of golfers, perfectly manicured, I was eager to get my golf clubs out of the boot. We were met by an army of staff, eager to help with bags, clubs and to show us to our lodges. The lodges are in blocks of 4 looking over the 18th hole. They are very comfortable with everything you need for a couple of nights stay, decorated and fitted out to a high standard. Once changed for golf we made our way to the bar/restaurant, this is sandwiched between an immaculate driving range (with short game practice area) and the largest practice green I have ever seen. The four of us then met Yannick, Yannick manages the restaurant, the bar, and is the one in the know at Les Bordes. It was when we asked for the menu, and Yannick replied ' we don't have menus', I realised we were not in a golf club, but in a different world! We asked Yannick a few questions about Las Bordes; How many members are there at Les Bordes? His answer 24 members in total, with only two that played golf! Yannick went on to say that the previous day only two rounds had been played at Les Bordes, and that was a typical day! We enjoyed a steak, and a good bottle of local wine before we headed out to the course.

The are 5 tees available, black, white, yellow, blue and red, we elected for the white tees, total length for the whites being 6023 metres, long enough for us. The first hole is right out side the club house, just over the small lake, it is a straight forward par 4, with an island green, within a huge bunker, a great starting hole. As we tee'd up a group of deer ran across the fairway around 250 yards away, this set the scene for a wonderful day. Every hole is stunning, with fantastic features on every hole, huge grass mounds, carries over water, tall grasses lining fairways, raised fairways, elevated greens, monuments, amazing bunkers (I found a few of them) there are also several island greens. It is difficult to pick my favourite holes as all 18 are special, however my top four were: Hole 7 - short par 5 where you have to cross the lake three times to get to the green. Hole 13 - par 3, with 150 m carry over the lake to a small sloping green. Hole 14 - another par 5, where your 3rd shot is to a perfect island green. Hole 18 - the final hole, and they have saved the best to last. 377m long par 4, where you carry water with your tee shot to the fairway,then either lay up with a wedge, or go for the green with a long iron or fairway wood. If you are short with your approach you end up in the water, if you are long your in the rear bunker. The green has a ridge running down the middle, which makes putting a real challenge. I lost many balls, we had a very heavy shower that soaked us, it was tough, but I would happily play Les Bordes every day for the rest of my life. I do hope I get invited back again!
6 / 6
Les Bordes
July 25, 2013


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Les Bordes is situated two and a half hours drive south of Paris in the Loire Valley. Nearest town, Beaugancey, (don't get excited) it is stuck in a "Time Warp". Arriving at the turn off for the course you drive down the road with a course on either side. First impressions,"What have we come to here" don't be fooled, after going through a barrier you turn left and see the 17th tee. OMG what an awsome sight. After checking in you go to your room which are comfy but very basic and a little dark. Everything is situated at the clubhouse. Breakfast Lunch and Dinner. Then you get to play the course, which is literally MILLIONAIRES GOLF, there was simply nobody there. The course is presented to perfection, tees greens and fairways. There is a challenge to break 80 playing off the back tees, something I managed to achieve, your name goes on a board in the clubhouse. Alas, these are distant memories as the course was bought out by new owners and no visitors are allowed unless playing with a member. If you are lucky enough to know anyone, and they invite you, drop everything and go. Described in one word "AWESOME"
6 / 6
Les Bordes
January 19, 2010


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I have had the pleasure of going to Les Bordes for the last 5 years on an annual trip and could not think of any other course in the world where I would want to play 36 holes every day.I am now gutted that the course has been taken over and the only way to play it is with a member.It is without doubt a world class course,perfectly manicured,beautiful greens and a great test of golf.And yes I am one of the lucky ones to have broken 80 of the back tees.
6 / 6
Les Bordes
October 19, 2008


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m gunn
September 21, 2009
I was here last week and couldnt get a sniff past the security gates. i played the old second course, now a club in its own right, which was a delight. I played with a member and he said les bordes currently has 10 members - his friend cuts the greens twice a day but nobody ever plays here. it all seems a real shame - when i asked what my chances of getting a game were he just laughed!
Quite simply the finest golf course I have ever had the pleasure of playing. It really is the 'Augusta of Europe' in every respect, and qualifies in my book as golfing heaven. The conditioning of the course is unparalleled, the setting the most unique I have ever experienced, and the golfing challenge so rewarding it will keep you coming back as often as you can - assuming you can afford what have now become rather hefty green fees - but oh so worth every Euro spent!
6 / 6
Les Bordes
July 01, 2008


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John Gaffney
August 15, 2008
Havind played there twice a couple of yers ago I have to agree with you that it is the finest Golf course I have played and fell in love with it!I am sad that only members and their guests can play it at the moment as I wanted to take 3 friends there after I have been telling them for the past 2 years how wonderful it is.Do you know of a way of getting a round there without a member?
You won’t get bored at Les Bordes, that’s for sure. Despite being completely private (since march of this year), they still honor bookings made prior to that date. Obviously, as the club only counts around 70 members, the course can only be in immaculate condition, and so it really was, very impressive. For my second time here, I decided to play from the Black Tiger’s tees: a beast at 6420 meters. Make your score on the front nine as the back hosts 3 par 4s in excess of 400 meters. The other holes don’t really cause any troubles in terms of distance. The stretch from 4th to 8th is really world class, so are 11th, 13th, 14th and 18th. 1st is a very good starting hole and 17th is a beast at 415 meters, dogleg right, need to be long enough to get a shot at the green in 2! 2nd is an uninteresting easy par 5 and 16th is a really silly par 3, 198 meters long to un uphill plateau (that being said, all other par 3s are sensational), and only disappointment on the course. Greens were like carpets but could have been faster for my taste. If you have a chance to play here, don’t let it pass. You can also always wait a couple of years as there is a big project of a new 18 hole from the same architect Von Hagge, plus renovation of the nearby Ganay course: 3 courses at the future Les Bordes, most people will only get 2 of them that should be open to the public. Good to see that so much is going on (ecologists permitting) in that beautiful region of France, that has more than the Loire valley castles to offer…
5 / 6
Les Bordes
June 30, 2008


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