Local businessman Jean Lecoul was the main person behind the formation of the Makila Golf Club in the late 1980s, purchasing land for the 18-hole layout from the Spanish Iriarte family. Nine holes opened for play on 21st December 1992, with the other nine ready by the end of the following year. Lecoul passed away in 2003 and an annual competition, the Trophée Jean-Lecoul, now takes place in his memory.
The course extends to just over 6,100 metres from the back tees, playing to a par of 72, with holes arranged in two returning nines. Holes 11 to 17 are laid out around a small residential development on the other side of the 4-lane main road into Bayonne and they’re accessed by an underpass beneath the highway.
Highlight holes include the first of the short holes at the downhill 138-metre 4th, followed immediately by a testing par five at the 5th, doglegging right to a green that’s protected on the right by a large pond. On the back nine, the 395-metre 13th is another tough nut to crack, with this hole also bending right to an offset green that sits behind another big water hazard.
The Peugeot Golf Guide describes the course as follows in this edited extract:
“Amidst beautiful age-old oaks beneath the Pyrenees, this huge site gave the architect the possibility to lay out wide fairways and keep holes well apart. Rocky Roquemore has produced an American-style layout with a wide variety of holes where mountainous terrain gives way to plains edged with water hazards.”