The property was owned in the 17th and 18th centuries by the baronial family Guiger de Prangins. In 1859 it was bought by Prince Jérome Napoleon, son of Jérome Bonaparte and first cousin of Emperor Napoleon III. He chose Emile Trélat, Professor at the Conservatoire de Arts et Métiers and founder of the Architectural School in Paris as architect for the construction of his residence on the property, that became known as the Villa Prangins.
Originally, the square medieval-style tower on the SW of the building was used as an observatory. A spacious loggia was designed to filter the light into the Prince’s bedroom on the NE. A veranda, giving on to the lake, covers the whole facade of the building, the centrepiece of which is decorated with the family heraldic arms and the tall chimney from the imposing fireplace in the main lounge, where today members can enjoy a refreshing drink or sit by the fire at the 19th hole.
After the fall of Napoleon III, Prince Jérome could no longer afford to keep the whole estate and sold part to his good friend Charles Lucas of London. It was probably Charles Lucas who laid down the tees and greens discovered before work began on the present course. Charles Lucas returned to England in 1885 and the property was acquired by Duke Albert de Broglie and then by the Say family, famous in the sugar business.
Jules Couchoud, from Lausanne, owner of a printing house, purchased the property in 1910 and restored it in the style of the day and sold it shortly afterwards to Ashton Clarke, a rich Parisian. In 1919, she leased the property to Charles I, the last ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who lived for three years in exile in the Villa with his wife Zita and their many children.
From 1925, the villa became the property of Baron Walter d’Orville and, in 1940, was taken over by Pierre-Marie Durand. In 1942, as a war measure, the house was surveyed with a view to expropriating it for military use. A line of defensive anti-tank blocks (called toblerones) currently crosses the estate and is visited annually by large numbers of enthusiasts of Swiss military history.
In 1953, Ernest Morf became the new owner; his Victor inherited the estate in 1971.
In 1984, Victor Morf sold it to the company Golf du Domaine Impérial S.A. which had already acquired the land adjoining the main Lausanne road (Route de Suisse) on the territory of Gland and the wooded part along the Promenthouse river on the territory of Prangins.
This made it possible to finalise the layout of the club and, on 14 October 1985, the first ground was broken for the construction of a course based on an original design by Pete Dye, implemented by Russell Talley with various modifications proposed by Alliss, Thomas, Mancinelli, Jones and Baker.