Reviewed by SIMON BRIDGES
“Of all the golf courses in all of P.O. this must surely be the most beautiful.”
Not as memorable a line as “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world” but Rick’s bar this certainly isn’t.
The estate is so stunningly beautiful that it sometimes requires a great deal of concentration to ignore the scenery and try to hit a golf ball accurately.
The course is around 1000m high up in the Pyrénées and straddles the border between France and Spain; it is a bit of a slog up twisty mountain roads to get there but oh so worthwhile when you emerge through the large iron gates onto the Falgos estate.
Male and female French national Rugby Union squads have used the grounds as a training camp because of its unique situation and have almost certainly played a round or two of golf after training is over. It must surely have inspired them.
The mountains dominate the area and the remoteness contributes greatly to the allure of Falgos.
The pro-shop is well stocked, which is just as well because it is a long way to the next golf store!!
There are disadvantages to remoteness, but the style and comfort of the facilities in this estate more than compensate for them. The level of service is excellent.
Younger and fitter golfers will not find walking the course too much of a strain, but those of a slightly more mature status would find the hire of a buggy a definite advantage. The tracks between the greens and the next tee have all been refurbished and concreted which makes for an excellent and safe ride.
A buggy removes the physical challenge of the variation in heights of the course and enables the less athletic golfer to concentrate on his game rather than his fitness level.
Each hole presents its own challenge and no two are quite the same. Lizzie certainly has a long way to go on this hole…………
The fairways are in excellent condition although many a golfer would say some are too narrow !! Do not expect to finish your game with the same ball you start is the best advice I can give. If you happen to overshoot the fairway, the bunker is there, but miss that and the mountains are ready to swallow your ball, never to be seen again.
Falgos is high, but it is below the tree line and many a golfer has clattered the trees on the side of this avenue. If you manage to stay out of the water and avoid the bunker, there is always the dog-leg to make your eventual arrival on the green that bit more problematic!!
Not all the golfers on this course are of the human variety. Here, a clever bit of topiary may be found next to the terrace where a cool beer awaits those who feel they have earned it.
It would be remiss of me not to mention the hotel, the restaurant, the pool, the spa, the children’s area and all the extras that make Falgos that extra bit special. The hotel rooms are lovely and if you are fortunate enough to get one with a view over the golf course, the balcony is where you may well end up enjoying a sundowner.
Falgos is a wonderful complex and I recommend it not only to golfers of all standards, but to families seeking a special day out.