Golf de Nîmes Campagne
by Ann Tsang
Located between Languedoc and Provence, C.vennes and the Mediterranean at the gates of the Camargue, and just 15 minutes from the centre of N.mes, Golf de N.mes Campagne welcomes visitors to a scenic area covering 54 hectares of wooded and slightly hilly land, with a past steeped in history.
Inaugurated on June 6, 1970 with an exhibition match bringing together Jean Gara.alde, Martin Ado, Roger Cotton and Tito Lassalle, the course has been played by golfing greats including Severiano Ballesteros, Bernard Langer (who set a course record of 65), Ian Woosnam, and Thomas Levet.
Golf de N.mes Campagne is a place of both character and history. It dates back to the 13th century when the Templars of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem came to settle in Campagne, where an abbey was built. It also became a place of rest for many knights returning from the Crusades. In the 17th century, the
Duchess of Uz.s, Marie Julie de Sainte Maure, acquired the estate which became a "national asset" at the end of the French Revolution in 1789.
Much later, in the early 1900s, following a fire, Georges Arnaud-Pallier, a banker from a large N.mes family, purchased the property to make it a centre dedicated to hunting. He built what some might describe as a miniature replica of The White House on the ashes of the old abbey, which he subsequently named "The White Home" in 1902. Today the building serves as the Golf de N.mes Campagne Club House.
In 2003, Golf de N.mes Campagne was named by Golf World magazine as the 75th top golf course in Europe, and the 26th top French golf course by Golf Européen. In 2009, a six-hole Pitch and Putt facility was added to allow players to train in perfect conditions. The six holes are all less than 100 metres, making it ideal for experienced players to work on their short game, but also for beginners and those wishing to take up the game.
GOLF DE NÎMES VACQUEROLLES
At the gates of N.mes, the Golf de N.mes Vacquerolles welcomes you to a modern and demanding course, known for its technicality, designed by Bill Baker. Characterised by numerous left dog-legs, plateau greens and difficult par 3s, it covers 6185 metres - par 72.
The club also offers a 9-hole pitch and putt course, a chipping green, two training holes and 60 practice positions (including 6 covers and 20 on grass). In addition, it has a school dedicated to young people from 5 to 17 years old. Set in a gently sloping valley amidst the sun-drenched hills of the garrigue, this course will satisfy both beginners and the most demanding golfers.
The all-round course allows each golfer maximum pleasure - undulating with stunning views and a more relaxed last 9 holes, the greens are vast, and sometimes elevated, with numerous plateaus.
With a large terrace overlooking the course, the bar and the restaurant enjoy a beautiful green setting, surrounded by oaks and pines. The friendly owner, Olivier Couderc, serves up his brand of regional recipes, seasonal dishes and tailor-made "golfer menus".