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THE BEST GOLF COURSES FOR HOLIDAYS IN BIARRITZ

Including: Seignosse, Chiberta, Hossegor, Moliets, Arcangues, Makila & Real San Sebastien.

Biarritz - Le Phare  Architect: W. Dunn (1888).  18 holes: 5,376m: par 69.

Practically in the centre of town and right beside the Régina hotel.  A beautifully manicured course where cunning and guile, rather than length, is required as you play through the avenues of pines.  Great views over the town on the front nine.  The original golf course of Biarritz with a membership of the great and the good of the Basque country.

Seignosse   Architect: R. Von Hagge (1989).   18 holes: 6,127m: par 72.

Undoubtedly one of the best courses in France. A great test of anyone's golf: tight fairways wriggling through the pines to Greens well defended by water and deep bunkers.  Should definitely be played at least once in your career and well worth the 45-minute drive north from Biarritz.

Arcangues   Architect: R. Fream (1991).  18 holes: 6,142m: par 72.

A great variety to the holes with Fairways that swoop through wooded hillsides and skirt around the lakes. Play early so that you can make the most of the delightfully rustic clubhouse where excellent Basque lunches are served on the sunny terrace in full view of the looming Pyrenées.

Hossegor   Architect: T. Morrison (1930).  18 holes: 6,001m: par 71.

One of the original Basque classics set in natural, wooded golf terrain (golf course architects back in the early 1900s certainly had their pick of locations!).  Not as long perhaps as some modern courses, but easily walkable and a great 'Club' atmosphere at this Members Club.  Keep an eye out for José-Maria Olàzabal - often spotted practising at Hossegor.

Chiberta   Architect: T. Simpson (1927).  18 holes: 5,650m: par 71.

Another very private Club, so quite limited Tee-times for visitors unfortunately (especially weekends) as there are so many active Members.  On the coast just to the North of Biarritz it has the Basque regions other stretch of links holes with half the course running along beside the sea-wall: the other half is a contrast playing through the pine forest on the inland side of the road.

Chantaco  Architect: H.S. Colt (1928). 18 holes: 5,833m: par 70.

To the South of Biarritz, close to St. Jean de Luz, a very British feeling course as it was designed by Harry Colt in his inimitable style.  Mainly through woodland on the upper section with water coming into play as the holes close in on the flatter land around the fine pink Clubhouse.
One of Biarritz's better kept secrets...

Real Golf San Sebastian   Architect P. Hirigoyen (1969).   18 holes: 5,962m: par 71.

Over the border into Spain, yet just half-an-hour from Biarritz.  Very private Members Club with a well thought-out course over some pretty hilly terrain as it is set into the foothills of the Pyrenées.  Buggies are available however and the views are beautiful - as is the Bodega-style Clubhouse.  (Known locally as "Fuentarrabia" or "Hondarribia").

La Nivelle Golf ClubLa Nivelle    Architect: J. Taylor (1907)  18 holes: 5,685m:  par 70.

A small, friendly Club, with a quaint old course that even includes a disused quarry as a rather prominent hazard!  A real local's Club overlooking the lovely port of St. Jean de Luz, where you will feel the full warmth of the Basque sporting spirit.

Makila (Bassusary)   Architect: R. Roquemore (1992).  18 holes: 6,176m: par 72.

Set against the backdrop of the Pyrenees; a rolling wooded course with large, fast Greens and water featuring on many holes on the lower sections of both halves.  Back nine crosses under the main road between 10 and 11 then back for the 18th up to the Clubhouse.  There are a couple of steep climbs around the turn, so it may be worth considering a buggy.

Moliets  Architect: R. Trent-Jones (1989). 18 + 9 holes: 6,172m: par 73.

North of Biarritz (about an hour's drive) but well worth the effort to get here and play this coastal course amongst the towering pines of Les Landes region of France.  A strong test of golf, witness the frequent staging of the European Tour Qualifying School, but enjoyable nevertheless.  Moliets has a stretch of three holes out on the soft sandy beach that receive a lot of press: the real golf is played on the 15 other inland holes through the pines.  Some long walks from Green to Tee so maybe think about a buggy.