Last week the European Tour – and Tommy Fleetwood in particular – enjoyed playing golf in France. Earlier this year Golf365 did exactly the same.
In autumn 2018 Paris will host the 2018 Ryder Cup and the world will discover just what a great golfing party the French can put on.
With the festivities due to include the Palace of Versailles as a backdrop and Le Golf National as the sporting stage, the quality of French golf will be revealed to it widest-ever audience.
But Le Golf National is far from the only quality golf course in France. In fact there are hundreds of them in a country with over 160 years of golfing history.
What’s more you don’t have to be a member of the European or American Ryder Cup teams to enjoy high quality action on-the-course and the thrill of chateau living and dining off it.
As Golf365 discovered in May, France might be on our doorstep, but it’s all too often overlooked as a golfing destination.
Our trip began with early morning arrival at Paris Charles de Gaulle Aiport and by noon we were enjoying a glass of champagne on a terrace overlooking a tree-lined golf course at Domaine du Vaugouard. Wine and lunch followed before we hit the front nine.
The course at Vaugouard is beautiful. The first nine holes sneak through avenues of trees, calling for accurate drives and approaches, before the back nine opens up, allowing big hitters the chance to attack.
Water comes into play on that back nine, with bold shots reaping reward on the par-5s and a clever, but potentially card-wrecking short par-4.
The final green sits at the bottom of wide, sweeping set of steps that drop from the chateau terrace – one of the more inviting places to enjoy a post-round beer and then later reconvene for an aperitif and gourmet dinner.
This is golf and living at its finest.
Next morning the wake up call was early, but as the smell of croissants and coffee percolated through the silent chateau there was little problem jumping from bed and enjoying breakfast whilst taking a final, lingering look at the view across the terrace.
Next destination was Domaine du Roncemay, a four star hotel some 45 minutes south and in many ways very similar. The hotel also has a chateau, although most rooms are in a wonderful courtyard setting.
The course is a mirror image of day one, with a front nine that utilises open land, before the back nine creeps through the forest. Another fine challenge, reminiscent among the tree-lined holes, of the likes of Woburn and Wentworth, before a restorative local speciality beer and snacks.
After lunch we head to Chablis, to be given a tour of his vineyard by our golfing playing partner Jean-Marc Brocard. A fascinating afternoon learning the secrets of wine tasting and perfect preparation for a final night of fine French food accompanied by Jean-Marc’s finest Chablis.
That evening the heavens opened. The skies were lit up by lightning and cracks of thunder split the night air. A suitably dramatic conclusion to a wonderful couple of days discovering that there is so much more to French golf that Jean Van de Velde and Victor Dubuisson.
Golf365 was a guest of Golfy – the leading network of golf courses and hotels in continental Europe.
The Golfy discount card is accepted at 162 golf courses across four countries, including France, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as 130 hotels in France.
The Golfy Indigo e-card offers a 25% discount on green fees and 15% off accommodation. It is available for a special price of just €49 for UK and Irish golfers (the standard cost of the card in France is €110).
The Golfy Platine e-card provides a 30% discount on green fees and 25% on golf breaks, and is available for €180.
In addition to the discounts, a loyalty scheme rewards users for spending on green fees, accommodation, breaks, lessons and pro shop purchases.
More more information visit the website.
Details of the trip:
Domaine et Golf de Vaugouard – one hour south of Paris, situated in quite countryside, the idyllic 18th century chateau has a gourmet restaurant with a terrace overlooking the golf course, the front nine of which twists through forest before emerging into the open for an intriguing back nine test.
Domaine et Golf du Roncemay – 45 minutes further south, and just half an hour from the vineyards of Chablis, this is a charming four star hotel with another excellent tree-lined golf course. Again fine dining is on the menu, as is some of the world’s finest wine.
Two nights, dinner, bed and breakfast, with a round of golf at each of the courses is available from €320 public rate, but €272 for Golfy Indigo card holders and €244 for Golfy Platinum card holders. It is sufficient for one golfer to be a card holder.
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