Golf de Limère is located just to the south of Orléans and is set in the delightfully secluded Sologne Forest. It’s a modern, thoughtfully designed Cabell B. Robinson layout which opened for play in 1992 and can be enjoyed equally by golfers of all abilities. Naturally you’ll need to select your tee box carefully. From the back tees Limère measures a modest 6,221 metres but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a pushover as the course tests the very best during annual National Championships held at the club.
Routed across relatively flat and easy walking terrain, the Limère challenge really starts at the greensites which are invariably well bunkered, large and rather tricky to read. But you’ll also need to safely negotiate the trees which can cause a fair few dropped shots if you are wayward from the tee.
The course is nicely balanced, you can expect to use all the clubs in your bag, and the 18th is one of the finest closing holes in France with its island green. The whole Limère experience can be summed up as a very pretty picture, so don’t forget your camera!
Last time I was at Les Bordes I got the chance to visit Les Aisses so this time I opted to check out Cabell Robinson’s 30-year-old design at Golf d'Orléans – Limère. It was very busy on a Saturday morning (probably with people like me who were getting out before a Seniors competition started) but I still manged to get round in comfortably under 3.5 hours.
It’s a very flat landscape to the south of Orléans where the course is situated so it’s understandable that lakes were dug during construction to provide fill for contouring and mounding, with flash-faced bunkers abounding on very hole. It’s resort golf all the way here, though water only comes into play at a handful of holes, most notably on the closing 18th, which plays to a peninsula green.
Two holes, the par four 4th and par five 6th, play round opposite sides of a small lake on the front nine and they’re probably the best holes on the outward half. Disappointingly, neither of the par threes (at the 2nd or 7th) really captured the imagination on a first 9-hole circuit that ended back close to the clubhouse with an instantly forgettable right doglegged par four.
The lake in the northwest corner of the property is put to great use on the back nine at the left doglegged par five 13th then the right doglegged short par four 14th. Water protects the front right side of the green on the first of these holes and it must be carried off the tee on the second hole, though aim too far left and there are some huge bunkers set up to catch those who play it too safe as the fairway swings right towards an offset raised green.
I suppose it’s rather befitting the resort-style course at Limère that it concludes with an eye-catching short par four with a final aquatic element to it. Water threatens off the tee if you slice the ball too far to the right and there are three bunkers on the left to catch the overly cautious trying to steer clear of the lake. The approach to a peninsula green on the right side of another lake then has to avoid another three bunkers on the dry side of the home green, setting up a nerve-jangling finish for anybody who might be nursing home the last ball in their golf bag.
We played here last year and enjoyed the course so we returned last week. We agree that there is a slightly rundown feel about Limere. We were disappointed by the course condition. Overall impressions are of a good course layout but poor maintenance, which had deteriorated this year compared to our previous visit.
Fairways had inconsistent lies. Rough was poorly kept. Many tee boxes were out of use and under repair, and the upkeep of those in use was poor. Some bunkers have new sand compared to last year. The greens were generally ok. We would have played elsewhere had we known about the course condition in advance.