On A Golfing High In The Stunning French Alps – Gay Bayard Golf Club

For the golfers out there who enjoy more than the experience of savouring a new golfing adventure here’s a destination to really whet your adventurous side.

On the outskirts of the town of Gap in Haute Alpes of France, the Bayard plateau rises to an alitude of 1,250m.  In winter the plateau is a hive for Nordic skiiing. When the snow melts, there’s nine groomed and marked trials offering around 50 kilometers of ideal mounting hiking.

The summer rays also reveal a stunning golf course – Gap Bayard ( http://www.gap-bayard.com/golf-de-gap-bayard ) – surrounded by some of most magnificent peaks in France.

A spectacular sight from behind the first green at Gap Bayard golf course (Photo – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

A ‘sneak peek’ at golfers on the opening tee at Gap Bayard (Photograph – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

If you’ve travelled or watched TV coverage from Crans-sur-Montana in Switzerland, and host each year to the European Tour’s European Masters, then you know what I am talking about though in mentioning Crans, the Gap Bayard course is actually 200-metres higher above sea level than Crans.

Gap, and so named as it is a geological formation that is a low point or opening between hills or mountains or in a ridge or mountain range, has a fantastic charm all it’s own and well worth even a few nights stopover.

Gap is also the capital and largest town of the Hautes-Alpes region.  At a height of 750m above sea level, it is France’s highest prefecture or district of authority.

The Gap Bayard course was designed by renowned French-born designer, Hugues Lambert.

Lambert knows the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region well.  He is a specialist in mountain layouts where golf courses have been laid out in the heart of some emblematic landscapes.  When you arrive at Gap-Bayard, you will note the club house and driving range are grouped together which is a trait of Lambert’s design work.


Then from the first to final holes, Lambert has used the topography of the terrain to design a golf course that weaves it’s way for some 6,000 metres off the ‘tips’ with nine holes taking

Though for  much of your Gap Bayard golfing journey you will find yourself being distracted by the spectacular sights of the surrounding peaks, or in the case standing on the ninth, staring down at the town of Gap located some 500 metres below.

The golf course is the usual mix of four par-3s, four par-5s and 10 par-4s.

From the uphill first hole, and measuring 309-metres, to the signature hole and the par-4 18th and four metres longer than the first, Gay Bayard is a golf course where a good drive will be rewarded with a strong chance of par, at worst.

This was the beauty I found in playing Gay Bayard.   You will stand on many tees with plenty of towering trees for company but the view ahead is mostly wide-open fairways, and on my visit, with little rough at all.

What I liked about Gay Bayard is that a good number of tee shots such as t the fourth, sixth, ninth, 14th, 15th, 16th and 18th you are playing to fairways or greens below level of the tee.  Standing of these particular holes seems to give you a little sense of authority, so much so, you just want to get away a good tee shot, and moreso at the last where the stately-looking clubhouse is proudly staring at you in the distance.

If I had to choose a favourite three holes, and while thrilled to have played a second shot into the uphill par-4 12th green to just two-feet for a birdie, it would be the back-to-back par-5 eighth hole and the par-3 ninth along with the par-4 15th.

The eighth, at 491-metres off the yellow tee, is a very slight dog-leg right-to-left hole and after getting your tee shot away from between the trees you arrive on the fairway to be greeted by the impressive sight off to the right of the mountains staring down on you.

Leaving the eighth you take the path through the pine trees emerging onto the raised tee of the 184-metre par-3 ninth holes and where your attention is immediately drawn to the stunning view to the town of Gap well below.

The ninth hole is rated 15 index on the scorecard and guarded front left by a bunker that I managed to find on route to a bogey ‘4’.

The 10th green at Gap Bayard Golf Club (Photograph – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

The uphill par-3 13th and with the 12th green on the right side of the photograph (Photograph – Gay Bayard)

My birdie on the par-4 12th was initially luck more than anything.

We know in golf when the game is a little off, it helps to change something.  I had made a mess of the 11th so I arrived on 12 tee deciding to change my golf ball though the sight of a brand new Callaway Chrome ‘Soft’ heading right into the trees was not planned.

However, I had the good fortune of my ball running between two towering pines and emerging on the other side presenting me with a clear shot to the green.

Delighted with my good fortune I hit an 8-iron to the green thinking it has to be pretty close and then pretty chuffed in getting to the uphill green, to see the ball lying a few from the flag.


I chose the par-4 15th again because of the stunning backdrop of the Alps.  As I pointed out, you stand on a raised tee looking down a hole measuring 356-metres off the yellow tees and another hole at Gap Bayard that cries out to send your tee shot soaring to the fairway well below.

The closing hole at Gap Bayard is your first sight of the clubhouse since teeing-up though it’s a kind of an Augusta National-like 18th hole tee shot where you first have to thread your way between the trees on both sides of the tee but on this occasion to a fairway below.

Ted @Ted-Koala again finds himself perched atop of an 18th hole tee marker and this time at Gap Bayard.

Great view off the 18th tee with the ever-present mountains in the backgroud and in the immediate distance, the Gap Bayard clubhouse. (Photo -www.golfbytourmiss.com)


With the tee shot proudly well down the fairway, and having managed not to be blocked by a clump of trees on the left side, it was also a clear shot – a 9-iron – and finish the round with a two-putt par.

Gay Bayard was truly Alpine golf at it’s best with the golf course in wonderful condition, the fairways generous, the greens very receptive and all the time, the surrounding Alps making for an imposing and impressive sight

Now let’s take this adventure a step further and pose the question:  What would it be like to get a closer look at the peaks that stand like massive broad-shouldered sentinels over-looking Gay Bayard?

Here is where the Alpine Flying School will add greatly to your adventure.

The Alpine Flying School  (website – https://alpineflyingschool.fr/ ) is based overlooking the village of Aspres-sur-Buech.

It’s just an easy 45-minute drive from Aspres-sur-Buech to Gay Bayard golf course or just 30-minutes if residing the charming city of Gap.

And click on our feature article featuring both the Alpine Flying School and Gap Bayard golf course: –




……. Thank you so much to Gaétan Demard at Gap-Bayard Golf Club.


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