Provence, France to house new golf course

A new golf course is set to open in the Provence region of France - just 45 minutes from the city of Marseille - this June


Providence, France to house new golf course

A new golf course is set to open in the Provence region of France - just 45 minutes from the city of Marseille - this June.

The new layout, part of the Domaine de Manville country 'Palace Hotel', is the creation of golf architect Thierry Sprecher.

Sprecher - famed for letting natural terrain influence design - has sculpted more than 50 courses in 12 countries during his 30-year career. Patrick Saut - a successful businessmen - and his wife Edith were responsible for the creation of Domaine de Manville.

"We had lived away from our beloved Alpilles [in the mountains south of Avignon] yet we still dreamt of the olive groves, the vineyards, the countryside of pines and rock and the sound of the Provence wind," said Patrick.

"We knew we would come back one day."

British architect Martin Hawtree originally laid down nine holes in 1989, but that design has now been replaced.

The striking new layout features raised tee grounds, panoramic views and narrow fairways, with olive trees and natural streams acting as the course's defences.

The course opens in September 2014, but hotel guests will have exclusive access from June.

"We knew this was the place. Everything was here. The architecture, the local produce, the food," adds Patrick.

"All we had to do was work with it. This is our home, and we want our guests to feel it is their home, too."

Nick Bonfield
Features Editor

Nick Bonfield joined Golf Monthly in 2012 after graduating from Exeter University and earning an NCTJ-accredited journalism diploma from News Associates in Wimbledon. He is responsible for managing production of the magazine, sub-editing, writing, commissioning and coordinating all features across print and online. Most of his online work is opinion-based and typically centres around the Majors and significant events in the global golfing calendar. Nick has been an avid golf fan since the age of ten and became obsessed with the professional game after watching Mike Weir and Shaun Micheel win The Masters and PGA Championship respectively in 2003. In his time with Golf Monthly, he's interviewed the likes of Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, Jose Maria Olazabal, Henrik Stenson, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Billy Horschel and has ghost-written columns for Westwood, Wayne Riley, Matthew Southgate, Chris Wood and Eddie Pepperell. Nick is a 12-handicap golfer and his favourite courses include Old Head, Sunningdale New, Penha Longha, Valderrama and Bearwood Lakes. If you have a feature pitch for Nick, please email with 'Pitch' in the subject line. Nick is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade M1 Fairway wood: TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Hybrid: Ping Crossover Irons (4-9): Nike Vapor Speed Wedges: Cleveland CBX Full Face, 56˚, Titleist Vokey SM4, 60˚ Putter: testing in progress! Ball: TaylorMade TP5x