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Presenter : Ian Cross

Northern France


Adventure Golfer Ian Cross arrives from across the English Channel to discover courses set to the backdrop of fairytale chateaux’s, and alongside war torn battlefields. He begins in seaside town Le Touquet, home to two nine hole courses appropriately named Le Foret, set amongst the trees, and La Mer, set beside the water. Ian decides to try his hand at La Mer, and discovers a links style course that requires a mastery of the elements. Ian soon finds himself falling behind the Club’s Female Pro as the seaside breezes play havoc with his approach shots.

La Touquet represents Northern France’s transformation in the last century from battlefield to resort town. After leaving the links Ian heads to the Allied cemetery to try and get perspective on the World War I trench warfare that resulted in some of the bloodies conflict in human history.

The next stop for Ian is the small village of Saint Saens golf course, built on a two hundred year old estate, featuring the chateaux as clubhouse. Occupied by the Germans in World War II, today the only conflict on these grounds is between Ian and his English partner, and a French duo. The two sides wage a best ball tilt for the ages, complete with bilingual trash talk.

Taking the less traveled route in to Normandy, Ian arrives at Omaha Beach, a crucial point in the D-Day operation. There are three nine hole courses here, and Ian takes to the links with a local who remembers the landing. On one approach shot, Ian must deal with a bunker that was dug by the Germans during the war. It is a truly historic place to golf.

When in Northern France it’s impossible to ignore the cultural significance. Ian passes through the home of impressionist artist Monet, visits with the Master of Wines at the Vouvray Vineyards where bottles mature for decades, and passes through a hunting lodge whose interior decorator was none other than Leonardo da Vinci.

His final 18 in Northern France are played at Les Bordes, originally home to billionaire businessman Baron Bich. Today there is a golf course carved in to the side of a lake, on which the peace and tranquility are unrivalled.

Places Mentioned - France

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