Second nine opens on new layout in southwest France

  • Navarrenx

    The new course at Navarrenx Golf Club has opened for play

  • Navarrenx

    Nicolas Joakimides designed the layout and helped to shape bunkers and greens

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

The new course at Navarrenx Golf Club in Aquitaine, France — designed by French professional golfer-turned-architect Nicolas Joakimides — has opened for play.

The first nine holes – which play as the course’s back nine – were completed in late 2017, with Joakimides helping to shape greens and bunkers. The owners hired a French team to take care of construction of the second nine.

“This place has amazing potential,” said Joakimides. “I would say the course now plays and looks like 80 per cent of what it was in my head and on the plan. I am happy because it’s a great place to play golf with old trees, creeks, and a mix of open land and holes that cut into a forest. The routing never changed.”

Joakimides said the thirteenth, a drivable par four with a creek in front of the green, was inspired by the tenth on the Brabazon course at UK Ryder Cup host venue The Belfry. “I have seen players losing balls in the forest when trying too hard to go for the green with their driver,” he said. “It’s too bad because it’s only a six iron and a wedge! I have also seen many players using the slopes around the greens to get close to the hole.

“My dream is to see this course totally finished with the bushes and trees that I hope will be planted soon, because they are part of the plan!”

To mark its official opening in October, the club hosted one of the French stages of the Mercedes Trophy, a Europe-wide amateur tournament.