Caspar Grauballe is progressing with major renovation work at Golf de Rougemont-le-Château in eastern France, close to the borders of Germany and Switzerland.
Grauballe has created a development plan for the course – a Robert Berthet design that opened in the late 80s – and initial work, the construction of new tees, took place in autumn 2021. The contractor Celtic Golf Management returned in March 2022, building a new hole and new practice greens.
“My plan aims to improve the playing experience by developing the framework for better playing surfaces, changing the layout to reduce the climbs on certain holes, making the course more visually attractive and reducing the blindness of a few holes,” said Grauballe.
This has involved some rerouting of the layout. “The rerouting uses much of the existing hole locations, but there are major changes on both nines,” said Grauballe. “A new short par four is introduced as the fifth hole, and the ninth is an amalgamation of the old sixth and ninth holes, to form a great par five.
“On the back nine, a new fourteenth hole is introduced on new land; a par four playing from an elevated tee position to a rolling fairway with great views towards the village. The old seventeenth is being replaced as well. This opens up some changes that will reduce the climbs for players and also introduces a new thirteenth hole – a par three sitting on the top of the site with tremendous views across the landscape. The eighteenth [pictured] will change from a short par five with a blind drive to a par four with a very dramatic tee shot to the fairway and green – 25 metres below – next to a lake.”
Grauballe’s plan, which will be carried out over the next few years, also includes renovating greens and installing a new irrigation system from Toro.
“The players will experience a course with challenges that are visible and with an emphasis on playability,” said Grauballe. “Blind holes will disappear, and the greens will feature more movement than the current ones, putting more focus on the short game.”
This article first appeared in the April 2022 issue of Golf Course Architecture. For a printed subscription or free digital edition, please visit our subscriptions page.