Spérone - Corsica - France

Golf de Spérone,
Domaine de Sperone,
20169 Bonifacio,
Corsica


  • +33 (0)495 731 713

  • Yves Tozzi

  • Robert Trent Jones

  • Jean-Claude Papi

Those that make the trip to the lovely island of Corsica to play the famous Spérone course will have one of the most unforgettable golfing experiences of their lives. The course is routed across a most intriguing and beautiful parcel of golfing land. It’s the only 18-hole golf course on Corsica and we think that Spérone is the model that all potential golf estates should aspire to.

Opening for play in 1990, Spérone was designed by the great RTJ. “The tee from 12 is one of the most beautiful in the world”, said Robert Trent Jones Senior, “because of their beauty and variety, holes 12 to 16 at Spérone are comparable to the sea holes at Pebble Beach and Cypress Point.” We couldn’t agree more and Spérone is certainly a little piece of paradise and one of Europe’s most unique designs.

It’s not the longest course in the world, measuring 6,106 metres from the back tees, but the layout is up and down in the extreme. We recommend a buggy, unless you are feeling supremely fit.

Napoleon was born here on this glorious Mediterranean island and some Corsicans believe that Christopher Columbus was born here too. We can’t guarantee that Columbus is Corsican, but we can guarantee that Spérone is one of the most varied and beautiful courses in the world. Play it and weep with joy.

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Reviews for Spérone

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Description: Those that make the trip to the lovely island of Corsica to play the famous Spérone course will have one of the most unforgettable golfing experiences of their lives. Rating: 5.1 out of 6 Reviews: 11

You don’t travel to Corsica because of the golf courses. And Spérone will not change that. I played the course two times in late September. Both times I didn’t book in advance and just drove to the course. But both times I was lucky and got an immediate tee time.

12, 13, 16 and the second shot on 11, 14 and 15 are really spectacular. I mean really spectacular, as in magnificent, gorgeous, breathtaking. The tee shot on 16th from the white or black tees is truly one of the best views of my golfing life. But beside that the whole course is mediocre at best. There are a few nicely designed holes but as some of the the other reviewers already mentioned, the maintenance of the place is not sufficient. Especially the bunkers are in bad condition. Since many of the greens are defended by several bunkers, this is quite significant. Regarding the walking vs. driving discussion: First time I drove, second time I walked and walking is no problem at all. Actually the course routing is quite well designed and there are only a few longer walks between the greens and tees.

I paid 85 € per round since the main season just ended a week before and I think that overall that is a fair price. Especially when you consider the market situation on the island of Corsica, since this is the only 18 hole course.

A handful of some of the prettiest holes you will ever play and an okish course beside that sums up to four balls for me.

4 / 6
Spérone
October 17, 2016


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EG Ohman
October 21, 2016

This reviewer and others before have mentioned the lack of sand in the bunkers. I think there might be more than maintenance behind the lack of sand in the bunkers. The bunkers, from memory, are designed as if on a parkland course, i.e. flattish. I would not be surprised if the wind simply blows the sand out of the bunkers at a seaside site with as much wind as Spérone, leaving only the pebbles. Keeping the sand in would then require extensive redesign of the bunkers, which would significantly change how the course looks and plays and members and guests with higher handicaps unaccustomed to links style pot bunkers might just freak out. If that is the case, this is a design flaw Spérone would unfortunately share with quite a few courses on windy sites where the designer was less familiar with/enamoured by links golf. Maybe someone with access to the club can confirm.

I played Sperone yesterday. Overall not better or worse than a 5 ball for me. As many reviewers have stated the back 9 has some great holes by the sea but the Front 9 are not terribly special, albeit generally well designed and interesting holes. The condition of the course was mixed: true greens at decent speed but bunker sand looked like it has not been replaced for years and tees were also not in great shape. One word on buggy versus walking: I am quite fit and typically hate to take a buggy but at July temperatures walking this course is no fun given the changes in elevation. I would take a buggy next time I play this course.
5 / 6
Spérone
July 17, 2013


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yolkuluk
November 27, 2015
Played it in July 2014 and 100% in line with this comment although I would rank it a 4-ball. I have played this course on a number of occasions over the years (in 1999, 2001, 2005, 2008 and 2014) and the maintenance of the course has really gone for the worse. The greenside bunkers were in horrendous condition (more small pebbles than actual sand) and so were the back tees. It's quite a shame considering the unique setting of the course and the not great but interesting course layout. To make things worse, the green fee has dramatically increased. Let's hope Sperone gets back to its original splendor.
I loved playing here. The first nine are a pleasant warm-up before the real fun starts on the back nine. The views of the seas are breathtaking - hard to keep your focus on your game! Don't agree that a buggy is needed, it's an easily walkable course.When the wind is up, a fearsome proposition. Otherwise, scoring should be okay. Greenfee overpriced but it is the only course on the island.Plusses - interesting design, holes 12-16.Minuses - vfm.
5 / 6
Spérone
October 20, 2011


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An interesting article - if factually incorrect. Sperone is the only 18-hole course on Corsica, but there are two 9-hole courses, one at Poretta south of Bastia and another, of which I am privileged to be a member, is at Reginu, approximately 6km east of L'Ile Rousse. There is a further 6-hole course at Golf de Lezzi, approximately 4km south of Porto Vecchio.Nevertheless, Sperone certainly justifies its ranking and is an excellent test of golf in one of the most magnificent settings in the world!
6 / 6
Spérone
October 09, 2011


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Keith Baxter
October 09, 2011
Thanks to the reviewer for pointing out the inaccuracy in our main Sperone article which we have now amended.
Played Spérone in July this year. The other reviews do not lie: this must be the most scenic golf course in France and this, and the trouble caused by the wind - the straits of Bonifacio is one of the windiest places in the Med - will make you forget the poor finish. A few more things to keep in mind: 1) three out of four par 3s are really short. I think more variety is called for if a course should be rated this highly 2) the greens may be at such a speed that you have no shot if you are above the hole. Well managed clubs keep the speed down or have them redesigned and 3) you absolutely need to book in advance, otherwise you have a real challenge just to get past the security guards at the gate to the Domaine de Spérone. This last aspect may charm or irritate you, depending on your preferences. Finally, forget the range. The practice balls look like they have been there since the 70s...Having said all this - it would be criminal not to try it if you are in the southern part of Corsica anyway. You will remember the experience!
4 / 6
Spérone
September 13, 2011


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rjiak
October 09, 2011
I know what you mean about the speed of the greens , especially in the summer months. This has been an issue elsewhere on the island's other courses - the problem is the cost - and availability - of water to enable irrigation to a standard to allow some receptivity. To get the best experience, try playing in May (if you can) - it's also a lot less busy!!
I started playing golf in 2009 and I had the chance to play in sperone two times this summer. This course is unbelievable, the first nine are difficult and interesting even if you never see the sea, the second nine are simply a great show. No matter how you play, the experience is fantastic.Both times I had strong wind, that makes particularly difficult the choice of the club. At hole 12, a par 3 of 147 m from yellow tees, with wind from the back, I shot an iron 9 and the ball fell 10 meters after the green, in the wood!! If you have the chance to visit Corsica, don't foget to play at Sperone. Fairways are perfect, greens might be better but, believe me, you'll never mind it.
6 / 6
Spérone
August 31, 2010


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I played the course three times in May 2010 and it is a real experience. The course is extremely difficult - it has a CR of 77.0 (par 72) and a SR of 159 from the tips (black tees) even though the course is just over 6100 meters long. It is a real challenge and I am not aware of another European course with such a high slope rating. The first 9 holes are inland with narrow slopes and demanding tee shots. From hole 10 on the water and the coast comes into play. I love hole 12 - it is an outstanding par 3 where the tee shot where the tee shot must carry the Mediterranean Sea and typical Corsican maquis scrubland. Hole 16 is the signature hole, a relatively short par 5 where the green can be reached with two shots only when both shots go over the sea. I highly recommend playing the course. Unfortunately, the tee boxes are untidy and the greens could have been better. But nevertheless a round at Sperone is a real experience! 
5 / 6
Spérone
August 05, 2010


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What a stunning setting, what a sensational course, what a shame it’s not looked after. We more or less planned our 2009 summer holiday around the chance to play Sperone (not sure our wives were aware of this) and whilst we were far from disappointed, there is still a sense that this place could be so much better. The course has two distinct sections – the front nine is played inland, and whilst overshadowed by the later stretch from 11 to 16, itself has some excellent holes – the par 5 third and par 4 sixth for example. But Sperone is all about the cliff-top holes from eleven onwards – I have certainly never played anything to compare to them – visually stunning and a golfing challenge. The sixteenth is the pièce de résistance – such an intimidating tee shot, particularly into a strong wind. Too intimidating for one of our group - he sent four balls for a swim in the Med! As with any seaside course, the wind is a big factor at Sperone. It was relatively straightforward for our first visit on a calm day, virtually impossible in the wind on our last visit. Sperone should be a ‘six ball’ golf course, but it is let down by the conditioning of the course (the tee boxes weren’t in great shape when we visited and the greens were poor) and by the unfriendly reception. Nevertheless, it’s a must play golf course if you’re visiting Corsica.
5 / 6
Spérone
January 21, 2010


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This course could AND should be one of the best in Europe. Unfortunately it's not. It's still a terrific experience, don't get me wrong but this could be so much more. Just to be able to lay out a golf course in such a location is unbelievable. The sights of the ocean, the smell of the sea, the architecture of the Sperone area. Increadible. Still you notice the lack of "love" from the staff to the course. It's a question of "finish". Trashcans not emptied, teeboxes not cut properly, ballmarks on the greens not taken care of. Also, imagine this course in the hands of one of the worlds leading golf architects! After a well thought out makeover - I'm sure this WOULD be one of the absolute top courses in continental Europe.
5 / 6
Spérone
February 13, 2008


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I’ve had the fortune of playing Sperone several times when visiting family in Corsica. Every time in the scorching summer heat, and every time a real treat. The drive at the 16th tests your nerve – how much of the ocean do you dare cut off? Play this hole off the tips for the real experience.Take your clubs whenever you go to Corsica so that you can experience this stunning course.
6 / 6
Spérone
August 17, 2007


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