Precision golf in GOLF DU CLAUX AMIC
In the deep quiet of the forest, precision golf is the key word on this beautiful forest course near Grasse between the sea and the mountains.
Take a deep breath
Already on arrival at the club you can feel the silence, the calm atmosphere and the fresh air from the mountains. Located at just 600 meters above sea level, it is probably on the high side to call Claux Amic a mountain railway, and it also turns out to be less hilly than feared.
Even if the course is played on an early morning in June, the temperature quickly reaches around 30 degrees, and a golf cart will probably be preferable for most golfers who want enough air and energy to enjoy all 18 holes on the beautifully landscaped course. The area was formerly a private hunting district from the 17th century until the sport of golf became popular and the animals of the forest gained peace.
Magnificent sea and mountain views
The course is laid out gently on a mountainside plateau in a former forest with lots of oak trees and pines.
Some golfers will argue that the chainsaw has not been used enough, because you often stand on the tee and shake your head and hands trembling a little while trying to visualize your drive out into the narrow opening between the approximately 20 meter high and dense trees on both sides.
It is on such a course that one should preferably not be used to aiming 50 meters to the side to make room to slice the ball back onto the fairway. There is simply no room for that.
Instead, think of short and precise iron strokes, which harmonizes well with the fact that the course is only 5,375 meters long from the yellow tee, and many holes are therefore possible to play in pairs for even the more short-hitting players.
The tongue straight in your mouth
The 18 holes are played in pairs with 72 strokes, and with a precise drive, there are good opportunities for a sensible start with two par-4 holes at an affordable 275 meters, after which you are already at the southeasternmost tip of the golf course.
And here you will find the course’s breathtaking signature hole, which in terms of play is an uncomplicated par-3 hole, but the view must be remembered to enjoy to the fullest.
From the tee you look down over the fairway and green, and the gaze then disappears in the heat haze in a magnificent panorama down the mountainside on the Esterel mountain chain and ends 15 kilometers away on the Mediterranean coast with the contours of the Lérins islands in the bay of Cannes.
A visit to the fortress on the largest of the islands, Sainte-Marguerite, can be highly recommended, but it is a completely different story.
Back on the golf course and with great confidence after a successful hole 3, you now move on to the first par-5 hole of the day.
With 395 meters, it is again an unusually short hole, where course management and the balance between length and precision are crucial for a good score and a reasonable pace in the game.
If the ball is first caught by the trees, which in several places almost lean over the fairway, then the risk of a lost ball is great, as the forest floor usually grows high up around the tree trunks.
Halfway turn at the clubhouse
After the first handful of holes, you get used to the layout of the course and the rest of the way into the front 9 goes back and forth in the woods on well-kept fairways before turning at the back of the clubhouse.
Everywhere we find nice tee off places and greens that welcome the balls, so the biggest challenge is definitely to get the ball in play from the tee.
Remember to replenish with drinks at halfway before teeing off from hole 10, where the driving range on the right follows the fairway in a soft dogleg to the right up against a well-protected green with 4 sand bunkers, which welcomes all wedge approached strokes. At hole 13 comes the course’s first serious water challenge.
The green on this 153 meter par-3 hole is well protected by a small lake, which must necessarily be cleared in the air if the ball is to stay dry and you want to maintain points with you for the last 5 holes of the course.
Most holes are characterized by a straight course, but on hole 16 a very sharp dogleg to the left awaits, and care must be taken not to drive the ball too far from the tee so that it runs out at the bottom of the turn.
From here you stand with a short stroke to the green, which for everything in the world should not be topped, so the ball rolls over the green and down into the lake behind. An affordable hole that can easily go wrong. Golf at its best.
Relaxing end in the club restaurant
Golf-wise, the course ends a bit tame on holes 17 and 18, where the greens hide at the back of the clubhouse. But for hole 19, you should still take the time to enjoy. In the Le Club restaurant, the dish of the day is served at affordable prices, and it is also possible to buy a course sandwich and drinks to take out on the course.
It is also in the clubhouse that you pay on arrival for green fees, practice balls and any rental of equipment and golf cart.
Also remember to take a course guide “Carnet de Parcours”, because even though there are also nice hole overview maps out at the individual tee places, the local rules are explained in the booklet. A special rule of relief without penalty exists if the ball rests behind smaller pieces of rock in the direction of play. The protruding rock pieces are non-movable obstacles that one can and should drop free of.
The restaurant should be given time to enjoy as the end of another wonderful day on the golf course. And many more await for you in Claux Amic.
By Mikael Mortensen / 2021