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Tom Doak’s new golf course in Saint Emilion

September 10, 2019


santé million in southwest France is a world heritage site 20 miles from Bordeaux famous for its wine production france’s famous golfing family the morgue dal are also looking to put the area on the sporting map with a new golf resort designed by architect Tom doke yes we were very keen on golf and of course it’s a family project so we all got involved in the decision and and we are happy to to do a real golf what I call a real golf where we can play fast where it’s not too difficult when you can enjoy have a good time a good experience on the golf course the project lays stagnant for many years but the family hoped to open the first nine holes next summer we got this project started last year so about it for a year and a half and we have accomplished many different tasks clearing the land and getting of course a great architect I turned up on site and I believe involved so we are getting our nine holes ready the appointment of doke was crucial in getting the course back on track and ready for golfers to play this project has a long history you know people have been thinking about building a golf course on it for 20 years or more which which is I guess pretty common in Europe I mean the permitting process here is pretty involved so a lot of times the architect that starts with the project doesn’t wind up being the one that built it with over 30 courses under his belt including the stunning pacific dunes in oregon tom trained under the legendary Pete Dye and is excited to be finally working in mainland Europe I love Europe I’ve had a chance to travel over here a bunch you know we just we didn’t want to get involved in Europe until we found a project that felt right for us to do and that means something where you don’t have to tear up the world in order to build a golf course and where the land is pretty much sitting there ready to go where we don’t have to you know every course you have to build the greens and bunkers but you you know a lot of modern golf courses they build the fairways and then there’s no natural character left at all so we look for a land that we can pretty much leave the fairways that grade the way they are down cools design is his passion and Tommy is happy to muck in with the work what we’re flagging out now is the lines for the fairway cut on the on the hole so that you know we have an irrigation plan that shows approximate spacing of sprinkler heads but everything’s changed while we were building the golf course in terms of with the fairway may be shifted over to the right or the left a little bit I mean I could leave this to my associates to do but it helps to do it at least on the first three or four holes to give them the sense and and you know we’re still working out how I do we want the fairways to be here so if I do it on a few holes everybody gets more confident what we’ve got going and then they can take it from there with the changing world economy Tom and his crew find themselves increasingly working outside their native u.s. shores certainly we were working further from home than we did five years ago that’s just the nature of the business right now so so to stay doing two or three courses at a time instead of having them all close together in the United States right now I’m working at China and New Zealand in France he’s also thrilled to be looking after his idol Alister Mackenzie’s gem in Melbourne Australia we’re consultants to 25 or 30 clubs mostly in the States but you know ro Melbourne was a place I’ve been going for years and when they asked me if I’d consider consulting there that was just a hard job to turn down because I loved that golfers his passion for the game made Tom a perfect fit for the project in Santorini or he likes what he does and he commits to it and he has a team that come with him that is really a first class and they are ticked all golfers the love golf and that’s also very important I think I also like their fine wines so a week in the French wine capital hasn’t been too much of a hardship New Zealand was not a bad place to work we did a little project in Napa few years ago it’s a pretty nice place to work we’re having fun here

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