Leading Courses was invited by the consortium "Play Golf in France". The consortium was established in 2020 to promote France as a great golf destination for International golfers. I was sent out to the region of Bordeaux to have a gastronomical experience and play fantastic golf courses. Spoiler alert: It was a truly great experience.
During this trip, I stayed at Golf Du Medoc Resort. The golf courses are right at the resort. There are two 18 holes courses, The Chateaux course and The Vignes. The Chateaux course is the championship course which feels a bit like a Scottish ‘links’. It has many waste areas and deep bunkers, but also a lot of water in play. The Vignes course is embedded in the typical landscape of the region, Medoc. The aesthetics of the heath and the maritime pines make this course quite different from the Chateaux course. Therefore, I would recommend playing both courses, as both are unique. A fun fact: each hole is sponsored by a different Château; if you make a hole in one, you get a bottle of wine from that specific Château!
The other day, we played golf at the Grand Saint Emilionnais Golf Club. Currently, this is the only Tom Doak, a famous American architect, golf course in continental Europe. If you do your research on this golf course, superlatives come up short. So, my expectations were quite high when visiting.
After having played it, I can say that the golf course lived up to my expectations. It has everything you need from a golfer's perspective. Interesting par 3’s, long par 4’s, short par 4’s, a very long par 5, beautiful surroundings, great food. The location of this golf course makes it even more unique. It is close to the city of Saint-Émilion, the centre of the Bordeaux wine region.
After the round, we visited Château Soutard, which is located on a limestone plateau. Soutard is one of the oldest Chateaux in Saint-Émilion and started producing wine in 1513. Now, the Château is owned by a commercial company, AG2R, which has given them the strength to build the brand. This acquisition by AG2R allowed the entire chateau to be renovated.
We did a tour through the vineyard, cellars, basements and even tasted some of the best Grand Cru Classés Château Soutard has to offer. For instance, we tasted the Saint Emilion Grand Cru Classé 2016, which was amazing. Due to the drought, 2022 will turn out not to be the best year. They even never picked the grapes from the vineyards so early before.
To get such a great experience after a round of golf, a nice tour around the vineyard and tasting the wines, was unforgettable and unique. All the best of France in one day!
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