Course of the Month

June 2008

Verbier, Switzerland Switzerland

Two hotel owners from Verbier made a trip to Belgium in the sixties. They learned about a Pitch and Putt course. They started to imagine the construction of such a course at home. The idea came at the right moment for Verbier was seeking to develop the area as a summer resort for tourists in addition to the winter.

Verbier (just over an hour from Geneva airport by motorway) boasts a very large green area in the middle of the village where, in winter, a ski-lift transfers amateur ski tourists on the top of the hill, permitting them to ski down and cut a stylish figure. This fine piece of ground could be said to recall Central Park in New York, as it is also surrounded by chalets (country cottages) and other buildings. From far away, this green oasis was easy to see. It was therefore on this ground on that it was decided to construct a Pitch and Putt course. In winter the course is effectively used as a ski slope for beginners.

To start the project, some enthusiastic golfers founded the Verbier club. The task of designing the course was given to the professional at Golf Club Montreux and an engineer. Together they designed the Pitch and Putt course "Les Moulins".

Players from Verbier quickly became known in the golf world, as players from this club, won several championships and the prestigious Interclub tournament.

Club President Mr Cedric Portier explains that the club combines Pay and play and season tickets. About 10,000 players play on the course annually during the season (from the middle of May to October). Visiting players come mainly from Belgium and from Italy, Great Britain, France and Scandinavia.

An average of 25 tournaments are played annually on the course, typically involving an range of 40 to 120 participants. In Mr. Portier's view all of the holes have their own difficulties but he considers the 17th hole particularly tricky. This year all the tees will be replaced and all the bunkers will be renewed.

Verbier's purpose in affiliating to the Swiss Pitch and Putt Association is twofold. The Board of the Verbier club estimates that P&P Les Moulins and its very interesting and attractive course deserve it to be associated to SPPA and it wishes to organize international tournaments (like the Swiss International Seniors Open).