Royal Mougins is a course you’ll want to play more than once. Not just because it is a beautiful and excellent course, but also because it comes with many hidden dangers. You definitely want to get a practice round under your belt before you play in any competition or betting game.
The course is very much a player’s course. You have to play strategically and be able to master the complete golf game, not just long drives and good putting. While some holes are quite long from the back tees, more often than not long drives are not essential.
The course starts high above the clubhouse. The first hole is a relatively straightforward uphill par four. However, the right side runs right along a hillside, so slicers beware.
After the first hole you reach the signature hole, a short par three hitting straight back down a steep ravine. To complicate matters, the green far below is protected by a small lake, making it look almost like an island green from above. Luckily, the green is fairly large, so you have some margin of error. A very beautiful but at the same time terrifying hole.
Back down at the same level as clubhouse, the third hole is a par five that takes you back to a wonderful stadium-like green complex (shared with the 18th green) just below the hotel. This is one of the most beautiful areas on the whole golf course, and also a very good golf hole.
The next few holes run back and forth in this area, until you cross the road to get to one of my favorites, hole number seven. The par four starts high with a small lake encroaching on the landing area, and then goes back uphill to a green protected by bunkers and trees. Again, playing strategically is more important than long hitting.
The course does not come back to the clubhouse after the first nine holes. There is a small halfway house at the 7th tee, and after that the course just continues.
The back nine features a couple of holes where big hitters have to make risk/reward decisions. Both the 12th (298m) and the 14th (355m), both par four, are drivable dogleg holes if you are willing to cut the corner and hit you drive over the trees.
The 2nd may be the signature hole, but my favorite hole on the course is the last one, a 515m par five. After a reasonably straightforward drive, you are presented with two alternative ways to play the hole. Take the longer, safer high road, or the shorter but riskier lower path along the water. If you take the riskier path, you have a chance to reach the green in two. Many tournaments will be decided here. A great hole.
After you finish your first round on this course you’ll say to yourself: “If I’d only done this instead” or “if I’d only know about that”. You’ll definitely want to come back and play the course again. And again. We highly recommend this course.