New French Course to Break Ground in 2011

Les Bordes Golf International, owners of the Les Bordes in France's Loire Valley, has confirmed it will build a second course on the estate. The layout will be designed by the Texas-based firm of von Hagge, Smelek & Baril (VhS&B).

Robert von Hagge and VhS&B have enjoyed a relationship with Les Bordes that dates back to 1986 when von Hagge built the original Les Bordes course, rated last year as No.1 in Europe by Golf World. In its assessment, the publication wrote that Les Bordes "should be unquestionably, undeniably in anyone's top-five in the world."

The new par-72 course at Les Bordes, set to open in 2013, will be different than the original, hazard-strewn Les Bordes and allow more of a ground game. Its playing corridors will be wider and with more options, unlike the original course which is "one-dimensional" (with only one type of shot rewarded). VhS&B states that the new course will be more "forgiving" and have "bail-out" areas. Also differing from the verdant initial course, the new track will be more "rustic."

The new course is part of a multimillion Euro investment by an international property development group, which will also include a five-star hotel and homes. Planning permission has been granted and construction, to be overseen by Rick Baril of VhS&B, is expected to start in 2011.

Tony Jimenez, Chairman of Les Bordes Golf International, said of the new project: "Robert, Rick Baril and the team at von Hagge have created a superb design for our new course on a par with all the quality and competitiveness the existing Les Bordes course has to offer. When it's completed, I am confident the new course at Les Bordes will be also recognized as one of the great courses of the world. We're looking forward to working with the VhS&B team to bring the new course to life."

von Hagge, the senior partner and architect in VhS&B, remarked: "Les Bordes has always represented authentic and uncompromised golf and it has always been a source of great pride for us. This chance to return to Les Bordes and design a second golf course is an opportunity of a lifetime. It is difficult to express the full extent of my enthusiasm and we can't wait to begin construction and ultimately unveil a new and unique golf venue. In doing so, we will continue an incredibly bold golf legacy conceived many years ago by Baron Bich and today by the visionary Les Bordes ownership."

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About von Hagge, Smelek & Baril

VhS&B has crafted 250 golf courses throughout the United States and in 16 countries. For more information about the firm, visit