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Disc Golf in France with Cows! You can't make this up!
Pros: La Coupe is a lovely little plot of land in a secluded French town near the Swiss border. It's very tranquil here and there's also some great hiking nearby. The park has 9 Innova DISCatchers which appear to be practically brand new. The basket placements are very intentional and make for some interesting challenges. The course is on a gentle slope with a lot of minor variations in elevation and a good mix between uphill, downhill and relatively flat ground shots. Mature evergreen trees with very low branches pose a particularly tough challenge. This course also has 3 marked mandos (two of which are doubles), a fence that marks OB and some big distance to add to the challenge. There are a few ace runs too, so bring your crosshairs! There is also paintball, hiking, and a ropes course on the grounds. The grass is well kept and the course is clean. The area is very beautiful and there is a local club that claims it as their home-course. They host at least one tournament there each year and they offered me to finish their round with me when I showed up the first time.
Cons: The course is not easy to get to without private transportation. From France it may well be impossible. From Switzerland you can take the train to Ste-Croix and take an almost 2hr hike to Les Fourgs, but it's a trek. It's scenic and you can get all the way to the French border on trails and sidewalks, but it's long and tiring, especially if you do it round trip.
The course is also seasonal. They take the tees out before the snow comes because they get about a meter and a half of snow there in the winter. So come in the warm months after the melt. I came in early May and the tees weren't in yet.
The second time I played there I was sharing the course with about 20 cows. No kidding! They're basically harmless animals, but they will certainly make some holes unplayable. There's a lot of dairy farming that goes on in these parts, and when I got there, there were about 20 cows stuffing their faces on grass (maybe that's why the grass is so well kept?). Also, because the cows eat a lot, they poop a lot too, so there's a lot of cow poo on the course. Watch where you step and where you throw. Bringing towels is also recommended. Or a scrubbing brush... or steel wool... ew...
The tees aren't very easy to find. They are grass and marked by wooden stakes. The ground isn't particularly even on them, especially when the cows have been tromping around. There are no maps on site.
Because there are 9 baskets and 18 tees, there's a bit of fairway crossing going on too. It's impressive that they've done what they could in the small space, but they probably could have fit a shorter 18 hole course in without crossing fairways. Also, they have a blue course and a yellow course (9 holes each to make a full 18) but the tees weren't always clear as to wether you are throwing from a blue tee or yellow tee.
Also, the fence that marks the OB is barbed wire. It's a bit of a pain if you do go OB and have to hop a barbed wire fence to get your disc.
Other Thoughts: This was really the strangest disc golf experience I've had. Between the cows and barbed wire fences, I felt like I was trespassing. Also, both times I've come, the office on site has been closed. That being said, this course would make a great training ground for locals. Coming from afar however, might be a bit of a stretch. After all, you could get there and spend most of the time yelling at cows to "moooooo-ve." Had it not been for the cows, this course would have gotten a 2 or 2.5 rating from me, but scatological evidence and the presence of a water trough suggests that they come often. If you're in the area, the course is definitely worth seeking out, but I won't make another significant trip out there. If you're coming from northern Vaud in Switzerland, the course in Neuchatel is a much better option.
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