Aix-les-Bains Golf Club, Savoie (73). (1895 - 1920s)

In 1895 a club was created by local doctors at Corsuet, near Aix-les-Bains, to attract patients to the waters. It was a nine-hole course laid out over 25 acres. It was a short lived course that supposedly finished in 1898.

The picture below presumably depicts the course at Corsuet (postmarked 1902).


Aix-les-Bains Golf Club, Savoie. A view from the course.

A view from the Aix-les-Bains golf course on a postcard marked 1902. John Llewellyn collection.


A new project was started in about 1905. Willy Armour was the professional in 1911.

The following is from the 1905 Nisbet’s Golf Yearbook; Instituted 1905; Station, one mile; Hon. Sec. - L G Rosrignoli, Splendide Royal Hotel, Aix-les-Bains; Captain, Colonel Woodward; 9-holes; Professional, A Reid; Visitors are admitted as members of the club at the following rates – for the season 60frs; one month 30frs; one week 10frs; one-day 2fr50. The course is situated in the centre of the famous “Rallèe de Chambèry”which commands a splendid view of the surrounding mountains. A clubhouse with dressing rooms, reading room, tea room, etc., is at the disposal of members and visitors.


Aix-les-Bains Golf Club, Savoie. Images from The Sketch January 1913.


Aix-les-Bains Golf Club, Savoie. Images from The Sketch January 1913.

Above images from The Sketch January 29th 1913. Image © Illustrated London News Group. Image created courtesy of THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD.


If you have read the entry for Le-Mesnil-le-Roi, the first course to be laid out in Paris, you will have seen an extract of an article written by Ben Nicholls which appeared in the Philadelphia Public Ledger of February 20th 1916.

In the same issue he wrote about Aix-les-Bains:-

 “Viscomte de Janze cabled for me to return to France. The commission he had for me was to lay out a course at a town called Aix-les-Bains, on the eastern frontier.

On my arrival there I met a Monsieur Docteur Brachie, the leading physician and multimillionaire of the place. It was a fine task he had fixed for me! “Nicholls” he said “I want a golf course in Aix-les-Bains. The race track is vacant only on a certain portion of the time, and during the season that golf is played it is under water due to the fact that we are in the lowlands, surrounded by mountains. However, far up the mountain side I have a piece of land. After breakfast we will take the mules and look over this property with a view to building a course there.

We had some difficulty looking that land over owing to the fact that it was heavily wooded. I saw some beautiful olive and fig trees, but more important, I also saw 60 husky Italian labourers equipped and ready to work. After threading our way through this mountainous woodland and taking another look at the 60 huskies, I promised to give Monsieur Le Docteur a golf course in six weeks.

Nicholls, if you can do that the Bank of France is open to you. Moreover, I Will have King Leopold of the Belgians and King George of Greece present for the grand opening.

[...] However, three days before my time limit expired we were ready to entertain royally at the grand opening of the Aix-les-Bains Golf Club. I have scored a few victories on the golf links, but the greatest triumph on my books is the wallop I handed Old Father Time on the eastern frontier of France.

King Leopold and King George were carried up the side of the mountain on the opening day by means of mule litters [...] for the opening match.

Monsieur le Docteur Brachie and our humble savant stepped to the first tee with the two rulers, while a gallery of some 200gathered behind. The moment was so tense that I all but forgot a mark of respect, which I, as the professional employed by the club, must observe. It is hard for the American to understand why I should be forced to remove my hay when playing before royalty, but such is the case. Therefore, I grabbed of my cap and flung it into the bushes at the side of the tee.

No greater gallery of royalty ever followed a golf match in those early days of the game on the continent. His majesty, King George, after driving my ball from the first tee, noticed my hat in the bushes and picked it up. “Nicholls” said he, here is your cap.

I refused to put it on and King George forthwith carried the cap over the entire nine-holes. I am proud to say that I am still in possession of that same cap” 


Aix-les-Bains Golf Club. The Hotel du Grand Golf.

The Hotel du Grand Golf, Aix-les-Bains. Unfortunately not posted so difficult to date, is it connected to the earlier course? (John Llewellyn collection.)


The current club was founded in 1925.