No disrespect to the previous reviewer, don’t expect to come here and play holiday golf – but you probably already knew such a description couldn’t possibly apply to a course ranked inside the Top 50 of continental Europe. The course has just changed management, moving from Blue Green to Open Golf, and a refurbishment program is already under way to further improve an already outstanding layout.
The green on the short par four 2nd was out of play as it was being reconstructed and the 4th is scheduled to be redesigned next year, along with new tees and greens for other holes and the replacement of 3.5 kilometres of cart paths. It’s obvious that when this work is completed Seignosse will become a flagship facility for Open Golf.
I’ve now played half a dozen Robert von Hagge layouts and they’ve all been very good tracks, built with a certain flair to match the flamboyant nature of the man who designed them – what’s also probably helped is that they all seem to have had a good construction budget so everything is built on a grand scale, with no apparent scrimping or scraping on quality.
The ground for golf is fabulous as it pitches and rolls on many of the holes, offering some seriously elevated tee positions and testing uphill approach shots. The sandy soil allows for firm and fast playing conditions so the course has many links-like characteristics, even though the coast is more than a kilometre away.
Being critical, the narrowness of many of the fairways needs to be addressed as a large proportion of the pine trees bordering the holes are now encroaching into play and if this arboreal intrusion goes unchecked there’s no way the club will get through another thirty years – and no doubt the smart people now in charge are well aware of this without it having to be pointed out to them!
I loved the fact that three of the four par threes were played as “proper” short holes (under 135 metres from the back tees) as so often nowadays you can’t reach a one-shotter with an iron club. Water also only intrudes on a handful of holes which was another bonus for me. Throw a short par four at the 2nd and a par six (!) at the 18th into the mix and you have quite a heady golfing cocktail.
Having now played six (and visited another one) of the current Top 10 in our French chart, I think Seignosse might soon be seriously pushing for a place in that illustrious top tier, especially once the latest batch of course improvements are carried out.
Date: July 10, 2019