PLAYING AROUND WITH COLIN LAMONT
|Enfin j’ai compris ce jeu. Quand la balle part dans une douce courbe à droite, on appelle ça un SLICE, quand il part à gauche, on appelle ça un HOOK et quand il vole tout droit, on appelle ça un MIRACLE!!|
The withdrawal symptoms of the addicted golfer denied a regular fix of the frustration and fleeting triumphs that make golf what it is, are just too painful to contemplate.
Be reassured then that there are golfing opportunities in the Pyrénées Orientales, four to be exact, and each has something unique to offer.
The St Cyprien club beside the Etang de Canet offers a 9 hole course, La Forêt and a challenging 18 hole course, EtangCanigou.
At 2963 metres and a par of 35, La Forêt is no mere stroll through the trees and bushes which are a pleasant distinguishing feature of the course.
Etang Canigou, is a bit of a monster at 6475 metres (Par 73). It is described as “Type Links” on its website, but it is certainly not a links course, being mostly flat.
Trees, water hazards and impenetrable reed beds lie in wait for the wayward shot although the reeds tend tobemarkedoffaslateral
water hazards so the penalty for losing your ball is not as severe as it would otherwise be.
The settingalongsidetheétang and with Canigou as backdrop is superb. The clubhouse facilities are excellent. www.golf-saint- cyprien.com
Several years ago, a new 9 hole was opened between the villages of Villeneuve de la Raho and Montescot.
It is inevitably still rather raw but offers an enjoyable enough round of golf. The greens are in good condition, the fairways are getting better established but alas the tees are a let-down.
The standard of my game might make such a demand faintly risible,butI don’t think it too much to ask to have your feet roughly on the same level as your ball when on thetee.
There is a practice range but no other facilities, just a wee hut where you pay your dues and can get a can of beer. It is worth a game, worth keeping an eye on to see how it develops and worth supporting
Having only pursued my winter obsession of skiing on the slippery slopes above Font Romeu, a proper account of the 9 hole course there will have to wait. I have heard good things said of it and look forward to doing battle on it.
Up in the hills towards Coustouges on the Spanish border lies Falgos, a hotel and leisure complex which includes a gem of an 18 hole course. If the first thing you notice about St Cyprien is that it is flat, the
firstthingyounoticeabout Falgosisthatitisnot. Falgos excels in making clever use of the very hilly land with much ingenuity going into managing the topography of the area. Each hole seems unique. The demandsonaccurateshot- making are considerable and each shot has to be thought through, but the rewards of getting it right are high. The stunning beauty of the mountain scenery is a bonus. The facilities are excellent
Happy golfing: may all your bogeys be pars and all your pars be birdies.