Les Bordes Golf International, owners of the exclusive Les Bordes, Europe’s No.1 ranked golf course in the heart of France’s Loire Valley, has confirmed it will begin building a second championship course on the estate as world-renowned golf course architects von Hagge, Smelek & Baril (VhS&B) delivered the master design for a new 18-hole course.
The design has been created by the esteemed golf course architect Robert von Hagge and his team at Texas-based VhS&B. Robert von Hagge and VhS&B have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Les Bordes which dates back to 1986 when von Hagge built the original Les Bordes course, rated last year as No.1 in Europe by Golf World Magazine. In its assessment, the publication acclaimed that Les Bordes “should be unquestionably, undeniably in anyone’s top-five in the world”. Prolific all over the world as the designer of nearly 250 courses, Les Bordes remains von Hagge’s piece de resistence.
The new resort course at Les Bordes, set to open in 2013, will be a par 72 course with the final length is still to be agreed. VhS&B says the new course will be more forgiving than the original, hazard-rich Les Bordes and will allow for more of a ground game. Generally, the new course playing corridors will be wider and offer more options – where the old course is “one dimensional” (normally only one type of shot is rewarded or even acceptable) on the original course – the new course will allow multiple lines of attack and a variety of strategies. VhS&B states that the new course will be more “forgiving” and will have “bail-out” areas where players will find safe haven. Visually; where the old course is verdant green – the intent for the new course will be more “rustic”.
The new course at Les Bordes, which von Hagge says will rival the original Les Bordes in terms of quality and beauty, is part of a multi-million Euro investment in Les Bordes by an international property development group, which will also include a 5-star hotel and luxury homes. Planning permission has been granted and construction, to be overseen by Rick Baril of VhS&B, is expected to start in 2011.
Tony Jimenez, Chairman of Les Bordes Golf International, said: “Robert, Rick Baril and the team at von Hagge have created a superb design for our new course on a par with all the quality and competitiveness the existing Les Bordes course has to offer. When it’s completed, I am confident the new course at Les Bordes will be also recognised as one of the great courses of the world. We’re looking forward to working with the VhS&B team to bring the new course to life.”
Robert von Hagge, senior partner and architect at VhS&B, said: “Les Bordes has always represented authentic and uncompromised golf and it has always been a source of great pride for us. This chance to return to Les Bordes and design a second golf course is an opportunity of a lifetime. It is difficult to express the full extent of my enthusiasm and we can’t wait to begin construction and ultimately unveil a new and unique golf venue. In doing so, we will continue an incredibly bold golf legacy conceived many years ago by Baron Bich and today by the visionary Les Bordes ownership.”
Les Bordes Golf International www.lesbordes.com
von Hagge, Smelek & Baril www.vonhagge.com