The new Grand St Emilionnais golf course near Bordeaux, France, will open for play on 1 May this year.
Designed by American architect Tom Doak – his first project in mainland Europe – and developed by the Mourgue d’Algue family, publishers of the Rolex guide to world golf courses, St Emilion is situated on a 252 acre property close to the famous wine producing village. Family patriarch Gaëtan Mourgue d’Algue, along with his son André have been working on the project since discovering the site ten years ago. The property is close to a tower where the French philosopher Michel de Montaigne wrote his essays in the sixteenth century.
The history of the project is complex; the Mourgue d’Algues at one time sold the land to Canadian company Intrawest, but later bought it back. French regulations preclude the extraction of water to irrigate golf courses, so Doak’s design funnels all rainfall on the site into a seven acre lake for storage. The course will support a membership club, but green fee play will also be encouraged. A first hamlet of eleven houses is currently under construction, with more real estate to follow later.