The course, sited at St. Brelade overlooking St. Ouens’ Bay, is one of three top courses on the Islands but the only one that is a genuine contender for being included in a Great Britain & Ireland Top 100 list.
All three links; La Moye, Royal Jersey and Royal Guernsey are fabulous courses and offer a wonderful, almost antiquated, links experience. However, La Moye also boasts that something extra special which just nudges it ahead of its neighbours.
Having hosted the Jersey Open many times between 1978 and 1995 there is definitely a more polished feel to the course and it is also the more demanding of the Channel Islands trio with a more ‘championship’ edge to it. This isn’t necessarily always a good thing but it does enhance the course here.
There are just a couple of holes which potentially hold it back from being talked about a lot more in the higher echelons of links golf. These would be the holes early on in the round. There is nothing wrong with the par-three opening hole but the second, with its internal out of bounds, doesn’t quite sit right with me nor does the fourth where we are once again confronted with the dreaded white stakes!
In what feels like a slightly cramped start to the round the short third, played to an incredibly difficult to hit plateau green is the clear highlight.
I’m pleased to say I’ve got all of the negatives out of the way now because from the fifth onwards La Moye comes into its own and really excels on the dramatic back nine.
The 6th and 7th are the best holes on the front nine and they cover the most interesting ground. The former is a par-five and has a large hollow and a patch of rocks to negotiate whilst the latter drops down to a valley fairway then funnels up to a raised green.
The stretch of holes where we head into duneland from the 10th to the 14th is exceptional and this is what I will remember most about La Moye.
The closing four holes are pretty good too and whilst the views are special all the way round the last few holes show off La Moye in all its glory.
There is a particularly sandy feel to the fairways and shot shaping is required into several of the greens, especially in anything more than a breeze.
Similar to the two Royals; Jersey and Guernsey, La Moye has been impacted by war so although the course was originally laid out by James Braid in 1945 it is the post-war changes made by Henry Cotton that we mostly see today.
The links plays to a maximum of 6,747 yards with a par of 72. It is a very good test of golf and one you should make top of your list to play if heading to the Channel Islands for golf.
All that said there is likely to be significant changes at La Moye by the time I next get to visit as they have engaged with MacKenzie & Ebert to dramatically, and perhaps controversially, alter the existing layout.