Vire Golf Club By the Lac du Dathée to the west of Vire
Originally a nine-hole course, this was extended to 18 holes as from summer 2008. Another masterpiece by my unfavourite golf architect – Yves Bureau! Winter golf at Vire is not great as it is usually either cold or wet. In good weather, it’s a beautiful spot with superb views over the lake. When I first played the course around 10 years ago there was no clubhouse as such but they have subsequently converted a huge barn which does the job very nicely. The original nine holes provide a pleasing mixture of challenges. There’s lots of water and lots of hills. Sometimes the two combine in unfortunate ways as on the old ninth / new 18th where you drive over the water hazard onto an upslope. A good drive in dry conditions leaves a wedge to the green unless the ball jumps back on the steep slope and rolls back a 100 yards or so into the water! They did have a local rule to help with this at one point. My favourite hole is a dogleg par 4 over water – the 5th on the original nine hole layout and now the 10th. Locals tend to baby a 6-iron off the tee to avoid the lake to the left and OB to the right. You then have another iron over the lake and onto the green. A big hitter can just about reach the green with a soft draw though so it’s very tempting as is the stream to the right of the hole where you can fill up your water bottle on a hot day!
The extension to 18 holes has made the course more interesting in good conditions but some of the new holes get very wet.
Best medal round: 77 on 21/09/03