France Tripd.

Papas1982

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As promised, a little later than 24 hours..... @DRW

Recently back from 3 days playing Belle Dunes and both courses at Le Golf National.

I wasn’t aware til on Le Shuttle at 5am that we were going to be playing a Ryder Cup inspired style. First day was pairs Texas scramble.

Belle Dunes isn’t a course I’d heard of before but will be back again soon enough. The mix of holes on it was one of (if not the most) varied 18 I’ve played. Starting with narrow fairways lined with tall Pines For front half before becoming more links in style with Dunes and raised greens.
I wasn’t disappointed with any hole. One was shorted due to work being carried out, but even that was played far enough back for it to keep itself as a short par 4. I’d not played the the format before and in all honesty would rather have played my own ball on such an enjoyable course. Between the four of us the handicaps ranged from 14-18. We shot 5 over and lost to an unlikely birdie (sliced drive, knifed chip and 60 ft putt) on the 17th. We also missed out on “a bit” on the 18th. In the weather conditions we were all pretty chuffed with the scores, compared to the other 2 groups we clearly had the better of the weather (the wind on Friday wasn’t too horrendous, a constant one club wind with occasional gusts).

I’ll skip the shenanigans of the day, but needless to say that when we woke on Saturday to torrential sideways rain, the concept of taking on L’Albatross was somewhat daunting.

We played four balls on Saturday. Luck was on our side a little, as all 12 of us cowered beneath umbrellas waiting to tee on the first the clouds vanished and we had mainly sun, albeit with gale force winds like those we usually save for the Kent meets... with the wind in our faces we all took driver and got nowhere near the water. Having checked the cards over after the round 7 was the best anyone managed on the first. We won the first with an 8🙈. All four of us got par on the second, I missed a 4ft putt for birdie. The round is a bit of a blur to be honest, I think due to the weather and the fact i was less than sober when we started. Having gone back over it in my head I can recall clearly 13 of the holes with the rest being somewhat similar. The course reminded me a little of the Brabazon in the way that there are some really nice holes and then some rather bland ones. As we approached the last 4 holes, we were all at a loss to recall the 17th from when it hosted the Ryder cup. It’s plain to see why when you get there. 15/16 and 18 are absolute highlights with 17 being a rather drab hole. In regards to the course condition, fairways were running suprisingly well, the first cut was manageable too, any wilder than that and you were hitting at best an 8 iron out if you wanted any sort of consistency.

Once you reached the greens the fun really began. We’d spoke to a few Dutch guys once we’d arrived Friday evening who’d warned us how quick they were. By all accounts they wish to keep them as close to competition speed as feasible. With the wind there were times where the ball would not sit still when trying to place it on the green. Any putt longer than a couple of a foot had us all more worried about a 3 putt than holing it, they all seemed to gain speed at the hole, I’ve never seen so many 4 putts in a round of golf. This time we lost again on the 17th, but managed to get a bit on the 18th with my highlight of the round as I somehow managed to find the fairway and then stop a 3 wood on the green for 2. The 18th plays as a par 5 for us, having seen where to champoionship tees were and the fact they play it as a par four really showed the difference! I managed to go round in 93 which I was chuffed to bits with. Unfortunately my partner had hit 3 figures quite a few holes earlier......

I have to credit them with the condition of the course, the only downer was the weather, if I played it in the same condition in the summer I’d still have been impressed.

After two days our team had taken a beating, our opponents needed 1 and a half to win during the 6 singles the next day.
An early night for most of us meant that the heads were a little clearer on Sunday. Tbh I’d rather the course was a blur.

L’Aigle, I’ll keep this short, if i did a package deal again, I’d play belle dunes enroute again and then any other course on the way back. The standard green fee is apparently €75. I wouldn’t want to pay €20 for it. The 17th was nice, maybe even decent. But the previous 16 with the exception maybe of the first were bland basic holes. The greens we fast again which could be deemed as impressive I guess, but with the winds stronger again, balls were rolling off greens and on one occasion, stopping and then blowing a clear 6 inches into the hole before my opponent marked it.

I managed to scrap round in 99 this time. Losing by a shot, fortunately my teams mates won the other 5 and our little Ryder Cup was won.

To those wishing to go, I’d certainly say do it. The resort itself is a little pricey. Almost €9 for a pint I thought was steep, as well as €17 for a portion of chips and little bit of fish. The shop is priced as all top courses are, but I got a little bag tag for @16 which isn’t extortionate. I’ll try and upload pics later, but due to the battering we all took, not too many were taken.
 

davemc1

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Great write up Dave 👍🏻 Shame about the weather... again!

You must stop doing trips in the winter, unless it’s to the glorious NW 😆
 

need_my_wedge

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As promised, a little later than 24 hours..... @DRW

Belle Dunes isn’t a course I’d heard of before but will be back again soon enough. The mix of holes on it was one of (if not the most) varied 18 I’ve played. Starting with narrow fairways lined with tall Pines For front half before becoming more links in style with Dunes and raised greens.
I wasn’t disappointed with any hole. One was shorted due to work being carried out, but even that was played far enough back for it to keep itself as a short par 4.

I love Belle Dunes, one of my favourite courses ever, played it a number of times now, try to play every time I go to France. Playing out through the dunes to that par three in the sunshine is just beautiful.
 
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Nice write up, great read. Top result hitting 18 in two, always nice to have good memories(y)

Must get over to france for a trip and play some golf, almost played Hardelot pins a number of years.

Wet the appetite for a summer trip one year.
 

Wolf

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Good write up, we're hoping to head over there end of May, loved the course in the bright sunshine during my jaunt over there for the RC so really want to get back and play it.
 
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