The Blue Green Estérel golf course, soon to be celebrating its 30th anniversary, was designed by one of the greatest names in golf-course architecture, the American Trent Jones, Sr.
“It’s a high-end ‘tourist’ course, by virtue of both its geographic location and its layout. That’s what makes it such a great course: It’s flat, so it’s physically easy, but it’s hard to play because of its many water hazards and sloping, complicated greens,” explains Director Arman Gadea.
A legendary architect
This golf course is the fruit of the imagination of one of the biggest names in course architecture – Trent Jones, Sr. This American architect, who began designing golf courses in the 1930s, has created more than 400 golf courses around the world in his 70-year career. He is famous for his “muscular” courses that challenge the pros, like Firestone, Hazeltine, Spyglass Hill, Baltusrol, and Oak Hill.
Here in Saint-Raphael, the architect has literally sculpted this course, winding it through the omnipresent, ancient pine and oak trees. “The major challenges on this golf course are the doglegs, well-placed bunkers, water hazards, and undulating greens. Hole 15 of the ‘Lac des Dames’ is his signature hole.”
Objective: create new golfers
Another advantage: The course is part of the Blue Green group, the leading course-management entity in Europe, overseeing 54 courses in France, including two on the Côte d’Azur. “Our ultimate goal is to create new golfers through a clear policy focused on opening up the world of golf, making it appealing and accessible to as many people as possible. We have a very attractive pricing policy with an all-inclusive package set at €1,280 a year. And advantages for golfers from the other Blue Green golf courses, like the one in Sainte-Maxime. We have 45,000 tee-offs a year.” To inspire and support new golfers of all ages, the Blue Green Estérel also has a golf academy that features a second, 9-hole course.