Saumane, the delicacy of the Alpilles

In the heart of the Vaucluse mountains, with a magnificent view of the Alpilles and the Luberon, the Saumane golf course is a feast for the eyes. Its difficulty also makes it a great challenge. Former French champion Jean Garaïalde was inspired by the undulating natural landscapes to create a steep 18-hole course full of traps that deserves its slope with 141 white starts…

A few kilometers from Avignon, a few minutes drive from the charming town of Isle sur la Sorgue, nicknamed “Venice of Comtadine”, the Saumane golf course is an ideal place to brighten up sunny holidays but also to test your swing. Less known than its inland neighbor, Pont Royal and its route designed by the legend Severiano Ballesteros, it is nevertheless worth a detour, with its very Provençal charm, its breathtaking view of the Alpilles massifs, its panoramic terrace, its attractive restaurant and the sporting challenge that it represents.

With 730 members and 19,000 green fees, the golf course is always full all year round

Jean Garcia, Director of Saumane Golf Course

Jean Garialde didn’t want to make Saumane a place for passing tourists or novice golfers. It must be said that the course, launched in 1990, needs no artificiality or complacency to attract audiences. As the site’s owner and manager, Jean Garcia, explains: “With 730 members and 19,000 green fees, the golf course is always full all year round. Four-a-side games also follow each other in winter. It always has to be nice here! We even set an entry fee for 6 months.

Sublime view of the Alpilles

It must be said that the view, the preparation of the land (despite some areas being repaired during our visit), the climate, the table, the swimming pool, everything is attractive even for the residents of “Madame Vacances”. Thanks to the many adapted rooms, business seminars are also frequently held. But beware, the course itself is a call to humility for those hoping to take advantage of the rolling fairways and hot air favorable to the ball’s flight. The grown-ups have to be careful!

Jean Garaïalde made matters worse

Saumane’s 6,191 yards of white put him firmly on paper straight away. From the tees he really impresses with many doglegs, many blind tees, huge fairway bunkers and several cleverly placed water hazards. Mastering the “power fade” is a real plus for keeping the ball in play…

It’s a course where you have to learn to place the ballwarns Jean Garcia. You must first be a good strategist and a precise player.”

Hole no. 1 immediately puts you in a good mood. This right dogleg par 4 is still 393m uphill with a grove of maritime pines to avoid at all costs and then you must attack a deep but narrow green with devilish slopes!

Hole #1, serious right dogleg, immediately fun!

Greens pitted three weeks earlier were a bit slow when we came. Luckily, one is tempted to say…”This is usually one of the strengths and one of the great difficulties of our course, swear Jean Garcia. They were at 2.80 on the simpmeter before drilling. You have to know them well to be able to hope for a goal.”

The greens were still a bit slow when we came.

The continuation of the course doesn’t really get any more convenient, although the number 5 hole, which overlooks the entire course, offers a sight that tempers morale boosted by a series of bogeys.

Hole #9 also offers a sublime swoop to the clubhouse. A treat for the eyes, which should not make us forget that we have to fly over a body of water in a double dogleg on the third shot of this par 5 of 534 meters. A piece of advice: if your index is not in single digits, prefer the yellow runs (5,782 m), the experience will undoubtedly be more pleasant …

Jump to hole #9 and the clubhouse in the distance!

Unmissable 19th hole

The nine return holes are more straightforward and conventional, although the tightness of the faceoffs remains the course’s leitmotif.

The descents are narrow, like here at hole no. 14.

Hole 14 alone, an almost modest par 5 (480 m for the whites, 454 m for the yellows), symbolizes the character of Jean Garaïalde’s layout.

The start in a pine corridor is narrow, attacking the green in two is almost impossible despite a good drive. The green is actually defended frontally by a piece of water. Also watch out for long shots!

No. 18 offers a final pushy start with water to the right and left of the Dolgeg uphill. Even if the drive finds its way to the fairway, you still have to try to avoid a huge bunker blocking access to a small elevated green. The par will be a very good result. As on all Saumane holes!

The start of hole #18 seen from the yellows. White, the water hazard on the left is invisible, be careful!

The panoramic terrace stretching out its arms to you is then an invitation to relax that you cannot resist after such a journey. Fountains in water hazards feel a lot less stressful with a drink in hand. Long live the 19th hole not to be missed!

The restaurant and bar terrace is a “must see” in Saumane.

Because we will not forget to also warn that hiking is rather sporty.

Visually appealing, Saumane is therefore a golf course that hides traps that will put your swing to the test. Be ready for the challenge!

Practical IT

official page :

Visitor Green Fees : from 65 to 85 euros (18 holes)

restaurant : Golfer’s menu for 23 euros

virtual visit of the course

© Fly over green

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