Did you know that Estérel Cote d’Azur has no more than 5 golf course on its territory ? One of it is the oldest of the region ! Léna Andersson, passionate by this discipline, has tested for you several golfs and give you her feelings about every golf course ! Ready to swing ?
Our beginnings on the french RivieraFor about 15 years ago we decided to play golf for a week on the French Riviera. I spent some time on the web and after a bit of searching I found a package that sounded perfect for us at Golf du Valescure in Saint Raphael. The offer included hotel, breakfast, dinner and green fee.
We packed our bags and went.
We continued coming down playing golf on a regular basis during the October – April period for about 7 years. In 2010 we decided to move down for good and we bought a small hotel in Saint Raphael that we have been running until 2017. Over that period, we organized week or weekend golf packages for our golfing guests from Sweden and Finland at all the close by golf clubs, i.e. Esterel Golf Club, Valescure Golf Club and at Roqubrunne Golf Club. We also found that our guests enjoyed doing other activities such as wine tours between golfing. Playing golf and explore the local food and wine is a perfect combination for sun seeking tourists from the north.
Terre Blanche golf course
Now when we have sold the hotel we will have more time ourselves to play golf. Since we are well acquainted with the three golf clubs close to Saint Raphael we decided to try the golf at the Resort Terre Blanche which we heard a lot about. When going to Terre Blanch, we wanted to be able to enjoy a full day at the luxury resort. Terre Blanch is the jewel in the crown when it comes to both golf and the service offered. It is really “Top Class”.
We started to play “Le RIOU” at the first visit during a weekend and we liked it so much that we wanted to try the other golf course as well so we went back the following Sunday and played “Le CHATEAU”. The two golf courses were in perfect condition. It felt like the ball was going your way even though the courses were very challenging. This was probably because the fairways were in excellent condition and the greens were fast but honest.
You are pampered directly from the start. The friendly guard at the gate of the resort is informing you were to park your car and that you will be will picked up by a transport service that will bring you to the golf club house. While you are signing in at the reception the starter is taking care of your clubs and getting your golf car ready. The golf car is pre-labeled with information which course to play and the tee time.
You are also offered a bottle of water, a golf ball towel and some tees that let you have a smooth start of your day. The golf car is modern with a screen that gives you all the information you need during the game. One great feature is that the car has automatic breaks that is helpful in the slightly hilly terrain.
Before teeing off you have the possibility to warm up at the fantastic driving range area ALBATROS. The driving range has two floors with a magnificent view over the perfect training area with mountains in the background. After the warm up you will be in total harmony and ready to tee up.
During the game, you will soon meet with the “snack car”. It feels that the “snack car” was programed to know when you needed a refreshment. Both week ends when we were playing the “snack car” appeared just when you felt a craving for a coffee and a small bite.
It is a good idea to tee off around 9-10 o’clock so you can have lunch directly after the game.
The restaurant offers a fantastic service and a great menu. We had “today’s lunch” at both occasions and we were very satisfied with our choices.
If you like to take advantage of a full day of treating yourself in luxury you should book a massage at the SPA after your golf game and your lunch. One of the packages that the resort is offering is “GOLF & SPA DAY”. We did not take time to do that this time but it is now on my “bucket list”.
Valescure Golf Club
This is the classic Golf Club that lives and breathes golf traditions. Valescure Golf course is from 1895 and it is the oldest of the Var and the 5th oldest in France. The charming club house building, constructed in wood, is the former Norwegian Pavillon of the Universal Exhibition of 1900. This golf course is slightly shorter than the others but it has its challenges, 5019 metres, Par 68. We have been playing Valescure a lot during the years since we first came to Saint Raphael in 2003. Each hole has fantastic views and the course is very well kept. Here you do not need a golf cart. If you are an early bird, you can play a 2 ball in about 3 hours.
Since we first stayed at hotel Valescure 15 years ago it has developed into a modern full service hotel. New hotel rooms have been constructed as well as a private SPA area. We have had plenty of satisfied friends staying at the hotel before we had our own hotel to offer. We have some great memories, one is when we spent a glamorous New Year’s Eve in 2005 in the traditional full serviced restaurant Pins Parasols. This was a while ago but the restaurant still offers the same high level of restaurant experience.
Esterel Golf Club
We have been playing a lot at Esterel Golf Club over the years. The club offers friendly service and it is close to “home”. It seems to me that they have chosen to have many open tee time slots for green fee players that makes it easy to reserve. Esterel is a challenging course in a natural undulating terrain with long narrow fairways, 5585 meters and Par 72.
The holes are beautifully laid out and you can often see the Esterel mountains in the background. We often start with lunch when we play the Esterel. The restaurant is good and offers traditional snacks, “today’s lunch” as well as full menus.
One year we took the advantage of a professional golf trainer for a week at the Golf Academy which is a part of the Esterel Golf Club. The Golf Academic has all the practise areas you need to become a good golfer, driving range, putting green, chipping areas and training bunkers. There is even a 9-hole course, that allows you to work on the approach strokes around the greens.
Roquebrunne Golf Club
We usually play Roquebrune Golf Course once or twice ever year. The golf course offers fantastic sceneries in natural surroundings.
Playing is challenging with substantial height differences in some of the holes. Try to focus on keeping the tee shot short and controlled to succeed. The golf course is located in a 5-star resort offering hotel, restaurant and SPA at Top Quality. The restaurant has a perfect outdoor veranda where you can have a bite after you finished you game.
A few years ago, an orderly weekday in late “off season”, I went playing on my own to warm up before an upcoming competition that I was going to have with some friends. It was an absolute fantastic experience to walk around in such great natural surroundings almost on my own.
I was also very pleased with the personal service that I got in the golf shop with a change of my soft spikes that were more than a bit worn out.