Granville Golf Club Located in the south west of Normandy on the Baie du Mont St Michel and not far from Brittany
This is my home course and I’ve been a member for nearly 10 years. It’s a pure links course with 18 holes designed originally by Harry Colt but much amended since WW2 plus a further nine hole par 33 course added in modern times. Links golf is what this course is all about. Scenically, it resembles the surface of the moon although when the sun casts shadows on the humps and hollows at sunrise or sunset it is stunningly beautiful. Although very close to the sea and a beautiful sandy beach, you see very little of this except on the men’s tee at the 6th hole on the main course or from the fairway of the 4th hole on the nine hole. On a benign sunny day the course can play very easy but when the wind blows, bogey becomes a respectable score on many of the holes. The wind affects club and shot selection in a variety of ways. It’s not just take an extra club but it may be that you need to play a low running shot or a punched 7 iron and this can be true downwind as well as up. There is also the question of tight lies and firm greens and aprons so that you might take a putter from 30 yards off the green in some places. Many of the greens have quite interesting contours which makes it far from easy to pitch on to them so the locals often make use of surrounding slopes to let the ball run back onto the greens.
The course condition is variable as it can be lush green or burned white according to the recent weather. Course maintenance is also variable to say the least but has improved recently with the appointment of a course consultant and a new head greenkeeper. The course is subject to very strict supervision as to the use of chemical products which means that there is an ongoing search for effective methods including the reintroduction of naturally occuring species such as the fescue grasses which had all but disappeared from the greens due to overwatering and excessive fertilisation. As a result, the greens are relatively quite poor at the time of writing – late 2008. The fairways were receeded in 2006 and whilst some improvement has been gained there is still a dearth of good quality fescues. Having been chairman of the greens committee myself I take some responsibility as I put a stop to the policies of watering and fertilisation! Finding effective methods of restoring the course to its former glory is a challenge.
In conclusion, if you like links golf or if you want to try it out, this course is a must. Don’t expect great natural beauty or tip top condition but you may be very pleasantly surprised by how much fun links golf can be.
Favourite hole: the 16th at 120 metres off the white tee but usually plays as a 5 iron or more for me as the green is elevated. Also the hole I have left my mark on by having the 4 pine trees that stood to the right removed!
Best medal round: 74 on 06/10/05
Golf club website (formerly maintained by me): http://www.golfdegranville.com