The Road to Mallorca arrives at Golf Saint Apollinaire this week for the Swiss Challenge. Here’s all you need to know before round one begins on Thursday.
Four to go…
There are just four tournaments to go of the 2023 Road to Mallorca season, with time running out for those targeting promotion to the DP World Tour to make their mark. The top 20 players in the Rankings after the season-ending Rolex Grand Final supported by the R&A will play on Europe’s top tier next season.
The Swiss Challenge and the Hopps Open de Provence in two weeks’ time will see a full field tee it up, before the top 72 players in the Rankings travel to China for the Hainan Open. From there, only the top 45 players in the Rankings will take their place in the field in Spain for the Grand Final. There’s all still to play for.
Golf Saint Apollinaire
Golf Saint Apollinaire, although geographically located in France, is Basel’s largest golf club which is situated just 13km from EuroAirport Basel. It’s also the sister club of Golf Sempach which hosted the Swiss Challenge from 2010-2019.
The club is home to two Championship courses with the Fruit Garden being one of them. Measuring 7,432 yards from the back tees, there are several risk-reward holes where water hazards are in-play off the tee. The Tree Garden is the other and was designed by internationally renowned golf course architect Kurt Rossknecht who incorporated fairways into the surrounding woods, ensuring stunning views in every direction.
Writing its own history
Golf Saint Apollinaire will this week be a host venue for the third consecutive year on the European Challenge Tour. In its first two years, it hasn’t disappointed. In the inaugural edition in 2021, Marcus Helligkilde from Denmark claimed a second Challenge Tour victory of the season in the same week that Alejandro Del Rey made history. The Spaniard carded a 14 under par second round of 58 which at the time was the lowest score to par ever recorded on a major golf Tour.
In the second edition in 2022 it was Daniel Hillier that triumphed before going on to secure promotion to the DP World Tour by finishing seventh in the Road to Mallorca Rankings. The New Zealander became a winner on the DP World Tour earlier this year, winning by two strokes in the Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo at The Belfry.