It is has been said that 'the pen is mightier than the sword'.
At Les Bordes perhaps it might be 'the mighty pen begat the sward'.
Baron Marcel von Bich was the man behind the famous Bic pens.
The Baron was also the driving force behind the creation of a private golfing esate in France's Loire Valley which was named Les Bordes.
American Robert von Hagge designed the Old Course at Les Bordes, which opened for play in 1986.
It was a beautifully conditioned, very private golfing enclave.
However after the Baron's demise in 1994, the club lost direction for many years.
In 2018 new owners took over and Les Bordes became a private and very excusive club.
Gil Hanse was engaged to build a second course.
The appropriately named New Course has a distinctly linksy feel to it, contrasting perfectly with the parkland style of the Old Course.
Hanse also created a unique 10 hole par 3 course called 'The Wild Piglet'.
The Old Course is regarded by many as Robert von Hagge's masterpiece.
It has been ranked as one of the best courses in Continental Europe for many years, ranking as high as no. 2 in France.
Certainly it is one of the better parkland courses I have played.
Although it is carved out of thick woodlands, there are no fewer than 12 holes which feature water hazards.
Water carries abound- with perhaps the island green on the par 5 fourteenth hole the most memorable.
I was also impressed with the variety of the holes on the Old Course- you just never knew what to expect!
It really is a championship layout.
It has the length, it is challenging, and is beautifully conditioned.
But off the appropriate tee, it is a wondeful members club
Notable holes include:
- hole 4, the first of the boarded par 3's with water carry demanding a crisp iron shot.
- hole 7, a lovely long par 5 with the fairway arcing around a lake constantly challenging you to pick a line and length to carry the water.
- hole 8, a lovely par 3 with water to carry and boarding guarding the green.
- hole 14, a challenging par 5 with an unforgettable island green.
- hole 18, a long strong closing hole with a long water carry for the approach.
I thought The Old Course at Les Bordes was something a little bit special.
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