Tour Report - France, October 2022
Some came via ferries across the Channel; some came via longer ferry journeys to Bilbao or Santander; some flew to Bordeaux; some even came via Madrid, courtesy of British Airways.
But everyone arrived safely on October 2nd in time for a welcome dinner at the Radisson Blu hotel in Bordeaux at the start of the GSGB tour to SW France. Initially planned for Autumn 2020, leader Robin Moser deserves a medal for valour (along with a tin hat) for getting everyone there if two years late.
The hotel proved to be in a part of the city undergoing rapid development, overlooking a refurbished harbor with floating restaurants and views of the Cite des Vins (wine museum, shown left) and the old German submarine base which has been converted into an amazing light-show venue. Nearby is the new Maritime Museum(on the right).
Our first golf was at the famous Medoc course, rated 11th in the top 100 in France. It certainly proved to be a challenge to most of us.
Equally challenging was the Bordeaux traffic. The ring-road (known as the Rocade) made the M25 look like a waste land. Nevertheless everyone made it, even if a few Sat Navs took a pasting.
Some people opted for a restful day on Tuesday, but most took a trip out to Arcachon to play Gujan-Mestres. Tricky course with lots of water but well worth the trip, and played in glorious sunshine.
Robin had organized a coach for the next golf trip, out to St Emilionais in the heart of the wine country. A real gem with a small clubhouse but the best coffee ever. Just time for a bottle of wine in the cloisters of St. Emilion on the way back; stunning world heritage site.
Thursday was a day to explore Bordeaux itself. The new tram system
is wonderful and a tour bus proved to be the easiest way to see the magnificent architecture. Some managed to get a photo of the famous Jacques Chaban-Delmas bridge opening to allow a cruise liner to pass below. A four-lane road being lifted high into the air!!
Friday morning we left Bordeaux with a two-hour drive to play Seignosse on the way to Biarritz. Also famed as one of France’s best courses (in fact number 10), it is easy to see why. Beautiful tree-lined fairways on every hole and finishing with France’s first par-6.
Our hotel in Biarritz was a stone’s throw from the sea and surrounded by restaurants. That was useful that evening as we were all exhausted.
No time to rest though. Next day golf at Arcangues, a course built on land donated by the Comte d’Arcangues expressly for the construction of a golf course. They made a great job of it. We didn’t make quite such a good job of playing it.
Sunday was a rest day. The weather was gorgeous and Biarritz was at its finest. No surprise it is one of the most expensive cities in France.
The locals were out enjoying the sunshine and the surf.
Monday’s golf was at Biarritz Golf Club, one of the oldest in the country and created by Brits. Not long but difficult. Lunch one of the best.
Last golf was at Chantaco, down towards St Jean de Luz. Overnight rain made the course very wet in places and some holes were tricky to say the least. Great way to finish though and the clubhouse was the most impressive of the whole trip.
Finally a superb prizegiving dinner at the Café de Paris in Biarritz.
Many bottles of wine were presented and quite a few were drunk.
Our thanks to leader Robin for inestimable hard work and to Sylvie and Lucius our travel agents.
A holiday none of us will forget.