Golfing in the South of France: Pont Royal

Dave and I welcome a new player to the GHClub Tour

After a back and forth battle for the last two games at Ballards Gore and the Caldy Club, the GHClub Tour was definitely in full swing and the only way for us to continue our excellent runs of form was to take our games overseas. 

Recently, Dave and I had got in contact with a reader of the blog from France – his message read as follows:

Hello Grace and Dave!

My name is Pierre and I live¬† in Salon-de-Provence. I’ve been a golfer for nearly all of my life (I am 57 years old) and would love to have a game with both of you to witness this legendary family rivalry first hand. Although I can’t offer you a place to stay, I’d be more than happy to invite both of you to play at Pont Royal, the club which I am a member of here in France. We’re very proud of the courses here at the club and you no doubt would’ve seen it on the television, if you keep up to date with European Golf. Please come and visit me this Summer, I would very much like to meet both of you.

All the best

Pierre LeGrande

That’s how Dave and I found ourselves cruising under the English Chanel on our way to the south of France and a date to play at the Pont Royal.

Brits driving abroad are often warned to be careful, as there are more than a handful of hazards that can sink a hole in your pocket and potentially ruin your trip away. Thankfully, both Dave and I avoided any run-ins with corrupt law officials and so we arrived in Salon-de-Provence just after nightfall on a balmy June evening. We were staying at a villa in the south of France close to the club so that we could down there early in the morning, but Pierre was still there to greet us with a bottle of wine, which I quickly passed off on to Dave.

Rather cunningly, Dave decided to ‘save’ that bottle of wine for the next night, so we were both fresh-faced, eager and more than a little nervous to tee-off bright and early at Pont du Royal. We had both assumed that playing at the likes of Lahinch would have prepared us for anything, but it was the sheer class of the occasion that was putting us off, rather than any perceived lack of skill – that and the evident skill that Pierre and the rest of his peers presented.

Having played golf for nearly all his life, rather than the handful of years Dave and I have between us, we soon discovered that we were about to be horribly outclassed. Despite valiantly teeing off and surpassing Pierre on a number of attempts, it soon became obvious that his knowledge of the course, coupled with his well-practised Little Game was about to put us to shame. On the up-side, at least the weather was pleasant and, for a Frenchman, Pierre was not one to gloat.

On our first European jaunt, with our first guest player, Dave and I were happy to concede defeat to a far superior player.

Congratulations Pierre!