Lady Golfer travel: Morzine, French Alps
The first time I visited Morzine, I was an excited 13-year-old with an ill-fitting ski jacket, clumsily racing my siblings down the ski slopes. This time I returned in the summer, in search of adventure and golf with a difference.
When the snow has melted lush alpine greenery and crisp blue skies prevail.
Our base for the week was Chilly Powder, located amongst the tranquil meadows of Les Prodains, in the French Alps, just a short drive from Morzine’s centre. This beautiful chalet belongs to Franchesca and Paul Eyre and their three charming children. Family values are the core of what makes it special here, with everyone chipping in to ensure maximum enjoyment.
The central hub is the dining room, a huge, high ceilinged, pine palace, filled with dark leather sofas, red rugs and a roaring fire place, where a five-course feast, sophisticated enough to impress even the most avid foodie, is served nightly.
The adult snug, modest spa treatment room and al fresco hot tub make it ideal for couples and energetic families, this is a small corner of paradise. The off-site activity list is extensive and ranges from the gentle to the extreme, but regardless of the weather, there is something for everyone.
Muddy mountain bikers, dominate the slopes and, when the weather is good, the sky comes to life with paragliders soaring overhead.
Age limits for activities vary, but the chalet provides outstanding crèche, kids club and private nanny services, so you are able to leave little ones safe in the knowledge they will be well looked after.
For those preferring a gentle pace, taking a ski lift to visit Les Lindarets, the goat village, swimming in lake Montriond, hiking or sampling pastries in one of Morzine’s cafes are all great ways to spend an afternoon. And then of course, there is the golf.
Expect extreme beauty, the freshest of fresh air, dramatically elevated tee shots and a golfing challenge, matched only by the walk Closest to home is Morzine-Avoriaz, the local 9-holer. A five-minute ski lift ride away, it is well worth a visit. Expect extreme beauty, the freshest of fresh air, dramatically elevated tee shots and a golfing challenge, matched only by the walk.
Golf Les Gets is also only 20 minutes away, 18 holes set over 5,790 yards, located between Lake Geneva and Mont Blanc. At almost 2,000m above sea level the panoramic views across the Alps are magnificent.
Wide sweeping and dramatically undulating fairways cut into the mountainside, between rugged Alpine trees, offering an occasionally physical and constant technical examination. Here wayward tee shots can result in your ball disappearing over a cliff edge and there are more red stakes than I have ever seen on one course alone.
There are numerous raised tees and plenty of uphill hitting, but the course is far flatter and in a much better condition, than you might expect, given the natural terrain. The beautiful par-5 7th, a classic long, right-to-left dogleg that seemingly descends into Mont Blanc is a particular highlight. Playing Les Gets in mid-summer exemplifies golf at its most dramatic and fun.
Forty-five minutes into the valley, in Haute Savoie, a very different golfing experience lies at The Evian Resort. Here the thrills and spills of the mountain give way to sheer golfing refinement at the edge of Lake Geneva. As the home of the Evian Championship, the entire estate is world class. The practice facility alone offers sloping range tees, perfectly manicured greens, immaculate pitching areas and flight tracker video. And the course is no less impressive.
Playing the pristine opening holes is a joy. Narrow fairways drift down toward the lake and cut through mature, lush, woodland. The greens offer subtle breaks, often seeming to defy gravity by taking the ball uphill, away from the lake.
A week leaves just enough time to scratch the surface of what Morzine has to offer. Here the great outdoors are at their greatest and this enchanting village offers the perfect base for budding explorers of all ages.