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PONT ROYAL GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

1 MONTH INTERNSHIP IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE REAL ESTATE AGENCY JASON SMITH


Pont Royal Golf & Country Club


The only French golf course signed «Ballesteros», Pont Royal spreads out his fairways undulating between the Alpilles and the Luberon. This golf, among the most beautiful ones in Europe, offers a real sports challenge in a very preserved environment, where the savage and pacific nature argues with the wind power.


A visual shock


In Pont Royal, the shock is visual at first : sublime panoramas on the Alpilles, beautifully maintained greens, fairways meandering between oak trees, pine trees and provencal essences. You can find also some water obstacles expertly distilled, sand «beaches» scattered here and there, and sumptuous houses sleeping along the fairways. Severiano Ballesteros knew how to use the quintessence of this savage and pacific nature on which grows more than only lavender and thyme. Ranked among the most beautiful golf courses in Europe, Pont Royal is the only making of the Spanish champion on French territory. And not just any territory since it’s in Provence, so much sung about, due to Mistral, and depicted by Cézanne. For a first attempt it’s a master stroke. In only a few years, this internal class golf course, which welcomes for four years a stage of the Alps Tour, the Masters 13, has become a Must for the golfers in south of France.


A golf challenge


Engaging oneself on the hole n°1 in Pont Royal,, a small par 5 which requires at the outset a precise hit to not get lost in the pine forest, is to accept to live in turn, great satisfaction and immense frustration. This hilly golf course, which befits equally the long hitter as the inspector of the small game, the professional player same as the gifted neophyte, is difficult to tame. It’s the least one can say. Especially if the wind gets involved (he can be violent in this region) and the odyssey ends with one stranded if one is not careful. The five first holes lead along the old royal road connection Paris to the Mediterranean Sea. The second one, a par 3, offering a frontal water obstacle and a row of plantains off limits on the left side, is more spectacular than difficult to play. Just line up between the bunker and the lake and let your golf club do the rest. After letting your driver draw out the next two holes, a difficult par 5 followed by a narrow and tricky par 5, the club choice is preponderant at the start of hole 5, another par 3 where the water is in place. For this one, you better take once more golf club, as the green is deep. The 6 inaugurates a new sequence particularly delicate to approach. If you let yourself get distracted by the sublime panoramas that arise like a dream in the middle of the night, the bogeys or even the doubles are assured. The par 5 hole of n°7, signature hole of Pont Royal (with the par 3 of n°11), can become a dream or a nightmare. The (very) long hitters cut this left dogleg to try a hole-in-one, the other ones, especially when the Mistral blows, are satisfied with following the steep trace which leads to a double plateau green situated below. If the player gets by without too much class, the 8 is waiting firmly. This par 5 is designated the most difficult one of the course, in a slight right dogleg, it demands high precision on the tee shot. Too far left and one finds his ball in the pool of one of the sumptuous properties which run alongside the fairway, too far right and the second hit will have to be played blindly. Better choose a number 3 or 5 club at the beginning and to hold back on a middle club for the second hit. Leading to the club-house, inaugurated in 2002, the 9, like the 17 of Valderrama, is remarkably well designed since it offers different options. While the average players settle willingly for 3 hits, the long hitters (sin of pride!) are tempted to attend the green of this par 5 of 489m in only 2 hits. But beware of the wind and beware of the water obstacle that borders the green!


View of the Alpilles


On the way back, after a relative respite on the 10, it continues with the 11, the other signature hole of Pont Royal. This long par 3 of 181 m, with the Alpilles as background, is visually impressive and terrifying for the golfers. The player has to cross a deep ravine to reach the green bordered by a cliff. Adding to the difficulties the choice of the club, depending on the wind and position of the golf flag. This could vary in between the 7 club and the driver. Performed on foot, the way in between the departure area and the green can be fatal for the fragile organisms. But it leaves time to regain ones senses and to rejoice in the sound of the cicadas. The sequence, 12, 13, 14 (a par 5, a par 3 and another par 5), which leads back to the club house, is characterised by its variety of hits one has to realise. On the 12, the precision dominates, on the 13, the choice of the club is preponderant to overcome the water obstacle without hitting too far, and on the 14, it’s all about the being well positioned on the right of the fairway to hope to get to the green in 2 hits.


Es Beu la Vie

Arrived at the hole n° 15, without doubt the toughest one on the golf, especially at that time of the course where the bodies are bloodless and the swings less secure. Here, you must be cool. The start is essential on this magnificent par 5 graven in Aleppo pine forest. If you embark at the right, you can say bye to the par. To reach the green, placed on a small hill, the second hit has to be played blindly and is particularly delicate to meter out. If this hole did not leave you on edge (be amply satisfied with a bogey), you can hop on to the 17, hoping that the steep green will keep your ball steady near the mast. The journey ends with a par 5, which buries the hopes of a lot of players (the record of the course, 66, is still in between the hands of Ballesteros). The good player is tempted to cut the dogleg and he’s wrong at all times. Better is to put ones drive at the top of the plateau, hit a second time to give oneself a small approach. The par being acquired, it’s time for the worrier to rest on the terrace of «Es Beu la Vie», the restaurant of the club-house, where you savour your drink while recounting your hits. Soon you will feel the powerful emotion of winning over this Homeric golf course. And the even stronger sensation of wanting to retake the odyssey.


A provencal paradise


The golf course of Pont Royal (50 ha), an ex-nihilo creation, is inserted in a domain of 180 hectares which delighted promoters. Indeed, on this loved imposing site in between the first foothills of the Alpilles and the Luberon, an authentic provencal village was built, with small places, fountains and churches. Rocked by the Mistral and the song of the cicadas. This residential and hotel complex consists of 650 apartments and a 3 star hotel with 56 rooms (as well as rental Mas), with seminar rooms and restaurants. The 3500 lodger can practice all sorts of activities : of course golfing, tennis, horse riding, water games in the 900 m2 of pools. The club-house houses a pro-shop and a restaurant open to everyone, «Es beu la Vie», whose terrace offers a beautiful panorama. One can also find a pizzeria and the Café des Arts on the domain. The great gourmets will favor le Moulin de Vernègues (T. +33 04 90 59 12 00), situated next to the hole n°2, a 4 star hotel-restaurant with 36 rooms. Louis XIV stopped there when he joined the land of South of France over the royal road.


Around the golf


Ideally situated in between Avignon and Marseille, Pont Royal offers many getaways. You can visit the «cite des Papes» (city of the popes) and its famous bridge the Pont Saint-Bénezet, Aix-en-Provence and its Cours Mirabeau, Arles and its arenas (Arènes), Marseille it’s old port (Vieux-Port). Those four provencal cities with a rich heritage deserve a visit. If you’re more into the big Air, go to discover the Alpilles or the Sainte-Victoire mountain.

The numerous villages of the Luberon (Gordes, Lourmarin, Bonnieux, Ménerbes, Roussillon), resort of many film and TV star, the perched villages of Fuveau, Saint-Savournin or Mimet. You can push further and cross the Rhône to admire the pont du Gard and the numerous surrounding villages (especially Uzès). Nîmes and its historical center deserve also a deviation. If you like the blue water and sea horizons, Cassis and its calanques are less than an hour by car away, as well ass the beaches of the Camargue or the Var coast ( La Ciotat, Bandol, Sanary).


JASON SMITH PROPERTIES   REAL ESTATE AGENCY
   Purchase - Sales - Rental- Management


Hameau des Trois Collines
Domaine du Golf de Pont Royal
13370 Mallemort

+ 33 699 805 035
+ 33 632 502 160



Golf de Ballesteros et Golf de la Durance


Académie Golf de la Durance à Pont Royal : Mathieu BERNARD
Académie LeadBetter
Tel +33 490 574 079 - info@golf-pontroyal.com - www.golf-pontroyal.com


Transport

By plane : Marseille airport, regular flights from Paris and the main cities of France.
By car : A7 highway, exit Senas, then 9km on the RN7 direction Aix-en-Provence.


Golf de Pont-Royal en Provence
BP 11 - 13370 Mallemort - France