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 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 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.
Date: August 01, 2018