Grand Saint-Emilionnais Golf Club
|Red (W)||72||4806 yards||72.5||129|
|White M: 73.8/139||421||342||168||420||503||437||359||315||212||3177||524||396||249||393||148||614||481||379||404||3588||6765|
|Yellow M: 72.4/135||396||322||168||402||503||437||359||296||198||3081||489||357||229||393||147||573||467||363||404||3422||6503|
|Blue W: 76.7/149||396||322||143||342||468||406||338||267||171||2853||474||322||201||365||131||544||433||327||378||3175||6028|
|Red W: 72.5/129||348||261||107||342||398||344||262||226||147||2435||474||322||162||309||131||497||373||262||290||2820||5255|
Fantastic Tom Doak Design
The third of the courses played on the Signature Pass is one a bit further out (45 minutes from Bordeaux) called Grand Saint Emilionnais. This course was designed by Tom Doak on a fantastic piece of rolling inland turf and was the brainchild of the Morgue DÁlgue family. Gaetan and his son Andre spent a lot of time looking for the correct piece of land and were determined not to waste it with an average layout. They have succeded in spades.
From the moment the course comes into view you know it's something special. The charmingly warm "clubhouse"sits high on the hill with spectacular views over the first and eighteenth as they lead you away on a delightful golfing journey.
You can see so much of Doak's influence particularly on the superb green complexes that are, by and large, small in size but created with "Barnbougle"type undulations that make getting on the right level or section of green a must. A lot of the greens are unbunkered with some raised and others protected by water or grassy swales.
Unfortunately the course has been badly battered from a fairway condition by the European weather but there's plenty of grass cover if inconsistent. If you look past that to the design of the course you cant help but feel you are playing something pretty special.
There's enough width off the tees but, as on all good courses, hitting to the correct side of the fairway to set up an easier approach is rewarded. There are some terrific short par fours that allow risk/reward play and the par three collection are fantastic with a lazy 220 metre monster thrown in for good measure - I parred it!
The green speeds were much slower than we are used to so made putting tougher particularly from below the hole but that's something you should learn pretty quickly. The rolloing nature of the land means you will play a lot of sidehill and uphill lies so those that like to work a ball will really enjoy it.
We met the owner, his wife and daughter in law after the round in the clubhouse with walls adorned by posters from every Trophee Lancome ever played. Enjoying a slightly chilled red from St Emilion overlooking the course post round made us wish we had time to grab a cart and do it again with the course knowledge learned the first time round.
A truly fantastic golf course and experience that anyone travelling to the Bordeaux area should seek out.