Founded in 1999 at Vidauban, Prince de Provence is totally private and none of the team here at Top 100 has yet been lucky enough to play the golf course. Designed by the full complement of Robert Trent Joneses, it looks a lovely layout and some say that it’s possibly the best course in Continental Europe. We're still waiting for the invite!
The following passage was taken from the club brochure and has been reproduced with kind permission:
In the 70s renowned golf architect Robert Trent Jones Snr became enamoured with a beautiful property in Southern France because of its golf potential.
He purchased this property, now known as Domaines de Vidauban. Throughout the 80s, the property remained undeveloped as Mr Jones studied a variety of development plans. In the late 80s, due to both his winding down his European design efforts and the ill health and the death of his wife, Ione Jones, Mr Jones invited his son, Robert Trent Jones Jnr, to assist him architecturally to manifest his dream course. The magnificent golf course was redesigned on the property in the early 90s fulfilling Robert Trent Jones Snr’s vision in his 90th year.
The task was arduous due to the property’s wild character, weaving through rocky outcroppings, parasol pines and gorgeous vineyards. It is a true masterpiece; one which Robert Trent Jones Snr has stated with joy in his heart, the “Le Prince” is one of the premier golf course designs of this life at least the equal of his famous work at Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain. The course is open for play with a small housing component and village that will enhance it with the atmosphere similar to Pine Valley in Clementon, New Jersey.
Robert Trent Jones Jnr said, “I am delighted that my father found this property and had the vision that we and our team were able to help him to achieve. It is a true masterpiece and one of the few joint ventures in which my father and I have collaborated in his later career. I hope all of you who play it will join me on the course and on the terrace afterwards to recount the many joyful games that we have had and will have on this magnificent golf course. It is strategically bunkered, with lightly contoured greens and with a variety of holes, naturally flowing and following the landscape. It is beautifully maintained by Otto Berg and his people and is a true tribute to the game itself from its earliest origins in Scotland to its current home.”
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Average Reviewers Score:
Probably one of the more amazing legends to be told in golf development history. Part of the story - I consulted in the mid-90's with the owners (then RTJ, Jr. & a division of AXA Insurance) when I was with ClubCorp International regarding positioning. Team included Sasaki Associates of Watertown brought in to try to help them figure out what to do with this beast. Truly the utmost example of Robert Dedman's joke relating golf course ownership and female gorillas - punch line - "you ain't done 'til she's done." Golf course is exceptional - Valderrama comes most to mind. The surrounding scenery and terrain is what makes it over-the-top special. 10 miles N of St. Tropez as the crow flies (probably 25 by car - VERY hilly!). Among many great parts of its history, the course was built without permits by a previous co-owner with RTJ and the government forced the new owners to maintain the course in tournament condition despite the fact they would let no one play. Water as well as first class maintenance cost over $1mm USD back then. Much more to this fascinating story which is as good as the course which easily rivals Valderrama. Richard Wax who represented RTJ then can give the best account but if anyone wants to know more, write - firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, I was gerant of this exceptional development between 1990 and 1995. A perfect site for golf and RTJ Sr and Jr worked to create one of the finest if not THE finest course on the Continent.
For those lucky enough to tee it up there, the experience is truly remarkable. It is bein held together by a dedicated team which has had to fend off all manner of attacks. They deserve great praise indeed.
20 October 2011
I have been very fortunate to play here several times, as a close friend is a member. It is truly magical, idyllic and one of the finest golf courses in the world.
i played here several years back.i believe it was built by the japanese initially who then encountered financial issues and the whole place was bought by some norwegian individuals.
it is a great course but what is even more impressive is the feel of the whole place.
it has a tiny 'village' of about 4-5 properties for the members to stay in and is incredibly well hidden down a tiny road with a very small electronic gate to let you in.
Valderrama esque in terms of the layout ,must be in the top 5 in france.