Opening in 2021, the New Course at Les Bordes in France’s Loire Valley was designed by American Gil Hanse. Part of the club’s 1,400-acre estate within the Sologne Forest, the course differs from the Robert von Hagge Old Course thanks to its heathland vegetation and more naturalistic style.
Hanse said: “We visited the site and fell in love with the entire property. It is very different stylistically to the original 18-hole course, which I think is a positive, as members will have two very different golfing experiences.
“We realised there was the potential to create some bold and dramatic features and strategies or options on the golf course. We could create a course that would be in balance with the low-profile nature of the site, with these more dramatic hole features adding drama to the course.”
Taking inspiration from legendary golf architect Tom Simpson, Hanse and his team worked carefully to preserve the natural environment as much as possible, and to fit the New Course harmoniously into its surroundings. The fairways are generous and blend seamlessly into the natural vegetation and trees.
Featuring large bunkers, subtle elevation changes and contoured green complexes, the layout measures 7,211 yards from the back tees but is expected to play shorter than its overall length due to the firm and fast playing conditions.
Jack Laws, director of golf at Les Bordes, said: “The course has heathland features but it’s built on sand and has large waste areas like a Pine Valley (where Gil is a member) and, in this respect, it is a unique style for Europe.”
Hanse, who created the 2016 Rio Olympic Course, has also completed an accompanying 10-hole short course at Les Bordes – known as the Wild Piglet.
We look forward to a full Planet Golf review shortly.