Tom Simpson is not as well known as a golf architect as Dr Alister McKenzie, or Harry Colt- but nevertheless has left a portfolio of work throughout the UK and continental Europe that has endured.
Cruden Bay in Scotland, and The Berkshire in London are favourites, but it is in France where his legacy is probably strongest. Chantilly, Fontainebleau, Hossegor and a number of others are wonderful members courses with real character. Simpson designed courses for the member, not the professional- and members of his courses are most fortunate to have enduring and interesting settings for their golfing endeavours.
Golf d'Chiberta is located in the south west of France near the seaside town of Biarritz. Here Simpson had some pretty interesting golfing terrain to work with- a combination of rolling linksland in the coastal dunes, and some heavily treed areas with significant elevation changes.
The course he designed therefore is a delightful mixture of classic links holes by the sea, and parkland holes in sandy soil through a forest of pine.
Holes go off in all directions with an inspired routing that does not favour any wind direction for long...and takes full advantage of that rolling terrain.
Favourite holes for me include the rollicking par 5 opener over the ridge and down to a delightful green setting overlooked by a grandiose home from days gone by, the pure links holes at 2, 3, 4, 5, 12 , 13, and 14, and the long par 4 fifteenth through the pines.
The routing and the combination of links and inland holes is perhaps unconventional but I thought it was great fun, and the membership seem to agree. it appears to be a very busy club!
Other courses in the area worth considering are Hossegor and Seignosse
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