The 27-hole golf facility at the Saint Malo Golf Resort lies half an hour’s drive inland from the coastal town of Saint Malo, comprising the 18-hole championship-standard Surcouf course and the 9-hole Old course, both of which were designed by Hubert Chesneau.
Fairways on the Surcouf course are set out to the north and south of the Mireloup Lake, where heroic water carries are required at both the par three 6th and par four 16th, with a substantial footbridge allowing golfers access to these two holes and beyond.
The Saint-Malo Golf Mixed Open was held here in 2019, the first ever mixed professional Tour event in Europe, featuring men from the Alps Tour and women from the LET Access Series who competed against each other in the same field for the same prize money.
Don’t expect to play golf by the sea at the Saint-Malo Golf Resort because the course is located around 25 kilometres inland from the historic French port. Developed in the 1980s, this 27-hole facility was designed by Hubert Chesneau, the architect who worked on the 18-hole l’Albtros course at Golf National in Guyancourt.
Fairways are set out in two distinct compartments, separated by the waters of Mireloup Lake, with holes 1 to 5 and 17-18 on one side and all the remaining holes on the other side. A long pedestrian bridge connects the two areas but it’s just wide enough to allow greenkeepers to drive their machinery across it on a daily basis!
The opening holes are routed around the clubhouse, next to the 9-hole Old course, which is a par 36 layout extending to 2,646 metres. There’s nothing to really get the pulse racing early on, as it’s all neat and tidy parkland fare – that is, until you reach the par three 6th spanning the Lake. Now you have to launch your ball from an elevated hillside tee down to a large, hourglass-shaped green that’s surrounded by five bunkers on the other side of the water.
This hole’s then followed by an interesting and rather unusual par five, where the hole narrows to a large bunker complex located between a couple of trees half way along the fairway! The mounding around the hazard is patently artificial but it somehow works well, turning an otherwise mundate three-shot hole into one with a bit of character and a soupçon of je ne sais quoi!
The back nine steps up a notch or two, highlighted early on by a lovely downhill par three at the 11th, which is played to a wonderfully contoured, sunken green that sits behind a big protecting bunker. The 16th is easily the best hole on the course, heading back in the direction of the clubhouse, and it requires a big carry across the lake – beside the 6th that was played earlier – and is played slightly uphill to a large, back-to-front sloping green.
The 18th then doglegs right and down to an enormous three-tiered home green that’s positioned beyond a horseshoe-shaped pond. It’s actually a very attractive setting to finish a round, overlooked by several beautiful species of trees next to the former priory which has been converted into a 19th century-style clubhouse.
This is a course that you might easily miss if you’re in the Saint-Malo area but it’s one you should definitely look out for.