I decided to start a new regular series of posts of course reviews. I will attempt to do one new course per week. I am hopeful that my opinions will be taken as such and will serve as a starting point for some interesting discussion.
As a background, I will admit that routing and green complex interest are more important to me than some other (and valid) rating criteria.
I will try to develop a standard format for presentation as we go along but may have to try a few to find the right combination.
So, here we go.
GOLF DE FOUNTAINBLEAU
Attributed to: Tom Simpson 1909
Location: Fountainbleau, France
What makes it great:
The course has an interesting and intimate routing moving through a property with some elevation change, hardwood trees, boulders, and heather. The first nine is basically an outer loop with the backside holes in the center. The course has some very interesting bunkering and I particularly enjoyed the par 3s.
A picture of the framed routing inside the Tudor clubhouse:
Here is the par 3 14th 145m. Note that the top of the bunkers are 2 or 3 feet higher than the green surface behind.
What makes it unique?
The interesting and quirky par 5 12th. Players must decide how to navigate a large field of boulders that sits approx. 30 - 100 yards short of the green. Players ending up in this “hazard” might find themselves lucky and have a shot forward or they may be stymied up against one of the boulders.
What makes it NOT so great?
The greens complexes, although above average, lack some of the character and movement at other courses attributed to Simpson. Tree removal and trimming could open the playing corridors and provide for more playing angles.
My visit: April 2010
My overall rating: 7
Let the fun begin