Wednesday 29 December 2021

Protecting the Magic Water of La Roche Posay

 La Roche Posay is a spa town about 15 minutes from us by car. The water there is high in selenium and acknowledged as a treatment for skin conditions. The town is usually full of curistes (visitors who come for the cure) and L'Oréal owns the skin care company La Roche Posay, which manufactures products using the magic water. In return for permission to use the town's name, the skin care giant has funded numerous improvements and beautifications in this small town tucked away in the depths of the French countryside.

Original spa, La Roche Posay, Vienne, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
The original spa at La Roche Posay.

The aquifer that the magic water comes from is obviously precious and must be protected. So many years ago a golf course was built on the land over the aquifer, adjoining the original spa hotel and its grounds. For 35 years the golf course was managed by the golf club committee, but now, with really big bucks involved, L'Oréal has invested and has stepped in to manage both sites.

This is according to a friend who is a regular player there anyway.

Golf course and spa, La Roche Posay, Vienne, France. Photo by Loire Valley Time Travel.
Sorry golfing friends -- this turns out to be the best photo of the golf course we have in our archive.

According to the newspaper L'Oréal has struggled to put in place a suitable management team. They have employed a senior greenkeeper from Chatellerault at any rate. The golf club will retain control of managing competitions, club events and the clubhouse. L'Oréal asked them to contribute €100 000 towards the course maintenance in 2021 and has pledged to invest in equipment and infrastructure to make the site more attractive to a commercial operator. In addition to the expert greenkeeper to manage the groundsmen, L'Oréal have hired a golf management consultant to advise on the business. L'Oréal with also be renovating the obsolete equipment building and bringing in the landscapers to correct the significant slope on the driving range.

The club has 110 members, so the maintenance contribution from them is significant. Plus the golf club must cover the cost of non-groundskeeping personnel and the rent of the clubhouse from the municipality, which is €15 000 per annum. The club members hope all the investments from L'Oréal will pay off, but 2021 was obviously very slow due to Covid.


chm said...

If I understand correctly, the golf course is partly responsible for protecting the aquifer.
In the desert of Southern California, golf courses use and abuse the aquifer to stay green!

ColinY said...

Is the tap still on the square where you can fill your bottles? Golfers generally have the dosh given the green fees on some courses!!

Susan said...

chm: I know. I thought it was an interesting twist.

Colin and Elizabeth: I don't think you can access it now.

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