Golf du Médoc is located to the north of Bordeaux, which everyone knows, or ought to know, is the world capital of wine. There are more than one hundred thousand hectares of vineyards in this amazing region of France, so it seems fitting that the best course at Médoc is called Les Châteaux.
The Châteaux course was the first to open at Golf du Médoc (1989) and it was only the third solo design from Bill Coore's portfolio and his first and only European project, which he completed with Rod Whitman. Fittingly, each hole is named after a Médoc vintage, but the style of the Chateaux courses is anything but French.
The course is routed across flat open country in the fashion of an inland links and there’s even heather, gorse and broom waiting to catch the wayward shot. Naturally this is not a links course, but when the wind blows in a westerly direction off the Atlantic, you may be forgiven for momentarily thinking that you are beside the sea.
The Châteaux extends to just over 6,800 yards which is pretty lengthy considering it only has two par fives (the 2nd and 14th) on the card. Both par threes on the front nine (at the 5th and 8th holes) are very intimidating as tee shots must carry all the way to greens perched on the edge of rather large lakes. One of the best holes on the inward half is the dogleg left par four 11th where a stream crosses the fairway then runs all the way up the left to the rear of the putting surface, punishing both stray drives and wayward approach shots.
I really like my new home courses. Les chateaux is a proper beast, real tournament golf course. It's long and tough. Greens are huge, elevated and very undulated! A real privilege to play here on a regular basis. If tournament style courses aren't your thing, the les vignes course is very good too...