Following the latest government decisions, Opio Valbonne Golf Resort remains open.

Golf club history

Golf club opening

On 9 July 1966, the “Valbonne” golf course was officially opened. The reputation enjoyed by this large Provençal village and the stormy relationship Mr Bussoz had had with Opio town hall during his many requests for administrative permits prompted him to only use the name of the commune. However, the main part of Domaine de la Bégude is located in Opio. It wasn’t until 1986 that Jacques Courtignon—who was managing the hotel and golf club at Mr Bussoz’s request—reestablished the land’s true legal status and built a more cordial relationship with the Opio authorities. The golf club then took the name of Opio-Valbonne. Simone Bussoz, who had managed the club’s interior design work, made sure there was a snack bar and refreshments. The hotel had not opened at this stage, as work on the guest rooms was not yet complete. 

The arrival of Open Golf Club

Having started off working in mountain tourism, this French family group was behind the Flaine ski resort in Haute-Savoie and developed the Foux d’Allos resort in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. Its first foray into the world of golf was in 1978 when it bought Saint-Cyprien, the first American-style golf resort to combine golf with hotel accommodation and property. Four years before France’s golf “boom”, Roger Coste and his brother-in-law Nicolas Boissonnas saw the huge potential of this activity with its appeal to sports enthusiasts and fun lovers, and the possibility of linking it with hotel and restaurant services. To satisfy the appetite for golf, the group started building golf courses on three sites: Nîmes-Vacquerolles in Gard, Sainte-Baume in Provence and Queue-lez-Yvelines in the west of Paris. Each was run by a member of the mountain tourism management team to demonstrate trust in and reward the loyalty of longstanding members of the group.

During the 1990s, the proliferation of new golf courses and the economic crisis meant pursuing a policy of building golf courses was unviable. But soon there would be opportunities to purchase existing courses. Servanes and La Salette in Provence and Le Touquet and Hardelot on the Opal Coast became part of Open Golf Club’s portfolio, boosting its reputation. The same strategy applied in 2001 with the purchase of Opio-Valbonne, and in 2003 when Grande Bastide was acquired from Club Med. The map of France opposite shows the group’s geography and composition at that time. All Open Golf Club sites are owned outright, except for Nîmes-Vacquerolles, which has had a special status since 1998 when it was taken over by its manager. However, it still follows the same charter. Since 1996, Open Golf Club has been managed by Nicolas Boissonnas and Stéphane Coste, who took over from his father. Open Golf Club, the number one premium golf club network In 2002, major work was undertaken to upgrade the greens. In 2012-2013, the reticulation was upgraded and the back nine were given a signature 18th hole: a magnificent par 3 overlooking Golf d’Opio Valbonne’s Brasserie La Bégude. The front nine require a considered approach and well chosen irons. For the back nine, opt for long and regular woods.

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