Monte Carlo Golf Club

France, South France
5.4 (5)
Designer: Willie Park Jr
Course Opened: 1911

Set on a hilltop about 900 metres above Monaco, the Monte Carlo Golf Club is an interesting classic that dates back to a 1911 design by golden ager Willie Park junior. Squeezed between the sea and the regions mountain range, the layout occupies lumpy terrain that made for some awkward golf in places and some fantastically original holes in other areas.

This has a distinctly British feel to it, which is naturally a good thing, the fairway typically full of ripples and dramatic undulation that were part of the virgin terrain. Space is at a premium and some of the holes are squeezed too tight by a routing that needed extra acreage, but this is not to detract from a layout that is great fun to play and full of unconventional, daring golf experiments that constantly encourage creative players to feed their balls off slopes or bounce them along ridges and down hills. The 7th hole, for instance, is extremely tight but a hill to the left feeds everything back to a narrow strip of fairway. The plunging 12th hole and long par three 13th are also both quite interesting. The short par fours are especially memorable, the 6th and 9th both heading across crazy sloping fairways to small greens but fun to play nevertheless.

Monte Carlo isn't in the same league as the best in Britain built around this time, but for the mainland of Europe it stands out as fun and original and is well worth a look, especially for more adventurous golfers.


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