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For golf lovers, few experiences can compare to the ones found at Golf des Forges. Located near Niort in southwest France, and named after a 19th-century castle in the same town, Golf des Forges provides a complete getaway with historical luxury villas, fine dining and, of course, golf.

With three nine-hole courses designed by architect Bljord Ericksson, there’s something for every level of skill and enough variety to make each course a distinctive adventure of its own.

“The terrain and topography changes with each course,” says Denise Davis, vice president, communications, marketing and investor relations for Younan Properties, which recently added the resort to its collection of luxury properties. “There are lakes and numerous other water features that add challenge and narrow and stretch fairways to create new opportunities for golfers to test their skills.”

While they share certain features such as reinforced bunkers and water hazards each one has its own distinct personality.

On the Blue course, players are greeted by a relatively flat, wooded course—but don’t let the lack of curves fool you. The White course, which is best left to more seasoned players, has several different bodies of water to work around and can hold more surprises that you might suspect at first glance.

Finally, the Red course is characterized by steep greens that test your vertical skills and ensure that you’re going to use every club in your bag and every trick in the book.

Whether played separately on different days, or played as one ambitious 27-hole challenge, the courses require players to meet differing challenges. With two par-36 courses and one par-37, two courses can be combined for a complete par-72 experience.

And, while challenging, the uneven courses and the area around them are also breathtaking. The landscaping stands out as one of the golf resort’s main features, with 272 acres of gentle slopes, lush greens and a bounty of ponds and lakes that punctuate the natural beauty.

THE ROYAL TREATMENT

There are many reasons that Golf des Forges has become one of the area’s most popular golf courses. It now attracts an international clientele from all over Europe and continues to grow in popularity as it adds programs and experiences.

In addition to its practice and putting greens and a fully stocked pro shop, guests also can enjoy a clubhouse and restaurant on site.

The restaurant is open every day for lunch, and dinner is served Thursday through Sunday during the season. The French Provençale cuisine includes full meals as well as bistro dishes the chefs prepare for golfers who take a break between courses.

However, guests will soon see the cuisine offerings expand to include the Younan Collection’s well-known gastronomic farm-to-table element. Guests will also be able to partake from the company’s 100,000-bottle wine cellar.

“[We are] closing on a vineyard in St. Emilion in Bordeaux, as well as purchasing a large stake in El Septimo cigars of Geneva, Switzerland, makers of some of the finest cigars in the world,” Davis adds.

RECREATION AND RELAXATION

Those who are new to the game of golf have access to lessons, and those who don’t play can spend a day on the resort’s tennis court or lounging around the swimming pool.

“There are many family friendly activities to appeal to non-golfers, too,” Davis says. “While the resort is selfcontained, there are many local sights, restaurants and other diversions to satisfy vacationers. It is the largest course in the area, and the only one with 27 holes.”

Just 90 minutes from Paris by train, it allows vacationers to enjoy the quaint charm and privacy of the resort while at the same time indulging in some of the offerings of Paris. At night, vacationers can return to one of the five villas, all of which have three bedrooms and are fully furnished.

“The villas have easy access to the courses, and the offer both indoor and outdoor living amid lush landscape,” Davis notes. “Several of the villas have lakefront views, which adds to the serenity of the experience.”

EXPLORING OTHER OFFERINGS

One of the features that made Golf des Forges so attractive to its new owners is its proximity to other luxury properties in the collection as well as for its own unique properties. Golf des Forges is located just 20 minutes from the Hotel Saint Martin and the Chateau du Petit Chêne Golf & Resort.

“There are just three golf courses in this area of France,” Davis explains. “They are located in an area of France that is still somewhat undiscovered. Golfers enjoy this area in particular because of the proximity to the Golf du Petit Chene course—and that it’s not overrun with people.”

The layout of the course, combined with its positioning near other properties that visitors and vacationers can enjoy, will likely raise its profile in the coming years.

“Combined, all these luxuries will be available to every guest, whether they want to play golf, take wine tours or just desire to stay in a four-star hotel.”

younancollection.com