The Road to Mallorca returns to France this week for the Hopps Open de Provence at Golf International de Pont Royal, and here is everything you need to know before play begins on Thursday…
In 1992 Severiano Ballesteros created one of the most highly regarded golf courses in the south of France; Golf International de Pont Royal, the only course in France designed by the Spanish legend. The 18-hole course has been painted to perfection by the artist with wide undulating fairways and lightning quick greens which pose a challenge for the highest calibre of golfer. The highland holes offer fantastic views over the Alpilles, the Luberon, the Durance Valley, and the Massif of the Trevaresse.
The course, which hosted an Alps Tour event for ten years after first opening, requires players to shape the ball in both directions and use their imagination, something Ballesteros was renowned for. Holes between the 15th and 18th present their own unique challenges to provide Golf International de Pont Royal with its very own ‘Amen Corner’ as they can quickly tarnish a scorecard. The 18th hole provides a dramatic finale as players must navigate their tee shots over a large hill before the fairway falls left down to a contoured green surrounded by a water hazard.
Golf International de Pont Royal provides everything a golfer could wish for, including a David Leadbetter Golf Academy which incorporates a two-tier driving range, practice green, practice bunker and three chipping greens. There is also a six-hole academy course enabling golfers to sharpen up their short game.
Away from the course, the Provençal clubhouse offers a stunning range of home cooked local dishes which golfers can enjoy. The five-star Moulin de Vernegues Hotel & Spa is located next to the golf course and is the perfect place to stay for visitors as rooms feature private patios looking out over the golf course, whilst also offering a fine dining restaurant, a fabulous I’Occitane spa and a large outdoor swimming pool.
French eyeing further success
The Frenchmen in the field will be looking light up the home crowd this week and replicate Romain Langasque’s triumph at the inaugural edition of the Hopss Open de Provence in 2018. French duo Felix Mory and Julien Brun have already sealed victories on the European Challenge Tour this season, with Mory’s win coming at the Dormy Open in Sweden and his compatriot’s coming in his motherland at the Open de Bretagne which took place at Golf Bluegreen de Pléneuf Val André. Brun currently sits in ninth place on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, while Mory sits in 22nd as they both look to secure European Tour playing rights for the 2022 season. Their countrymen Frederic Lacroix, Ugo Coussaud and Jérôme Lando-Casanova sit in 25th, 34th and 35th place respectively and will be looking to use home advantage this week as a catalyst for a strong performance to propel them into the top 20 on the Rankings.