Can you play Paris Olympics venue: The Albatros course at Le Golf National

Albatros Course Le Golf National Olympics

Le Golf National is the flagship venue of French golf, and the Albatros Course is the jewel in their crown.

Host to the annual French Open and a dramatic 2018 Ryder Cup, the Albatros Course will also play host to both the men’s and women’s Olympic Games tournaments.

The Albatros is a parkland course with a distinct links feel added to it through various design choices, while it is also a purpose-built ‘stadium’ course designed to take in both fans and the media, although its designer sought to create natural grandstands for viewing. With minimal adjustments, Le Golf National has a capacity to hold 80,000 spectators.

The cynical golfer will say that its vast undulating fairways are bait to suck you into one of the innumerable links-style bunkers lying in wait to ruin your scorecard. The course is extremely challenging and not the option if you just want to enjoy a pleasant stroll in the French countryside.

Le Golf National’s complex, which includes the Albatros and a second 18-hole course, the Aigle, as well as a 9-hole course called the Oiselet, is also part of the European Tour Destinations network, a world-class selection of 26 golf venues that sports 50 courses under its umbrella across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

As for getting to play at the course, the first step will naturally be ensuring that you are able to get to France and the course itself, which is near the Palace of Versailles just outside of Paris.

Fees vary according to how you have gone about booking your round.

Le Golf National demonstrates how promoting nature, saving resources, and helping the community are all part of maintaining a lucrative and well-regarded golf club.

Part of that commitment to the environment and community has come in the form of making the club more accessible to the local community while Le Golf National also spearheads the development of new affordable short courses around France.

Arguably the feature of the Albatros is the finish with the final four holes surrounded by water hazards which helps to make it one of the finest golf courses in Europe and one where you can recreate the dramatic final moments of the 2018 Ryder Cup.

The course was laid out over what was a largely flat piece of land but that enabled course architect Hubert Chesneau to work with a ‘blank canvas’.

“My inspiration was to create a stadium: a golf course that would be able to receive great championships with ideal conditions for not only players but also spectators and the media – particularly television coverage,” Chesneau says.

“Contrary to most of the courses being built at the time on natural undulating ground, I preferred to create a landscape that would be ideal for ‘natural grandstands’. With this in my mind there was no alternative but to start with a ‘blank canvas’.”

That manipulation of Topography meant that in all 1.6 million cubic meters of earth were moved to create the complex.

The Albatros is a course that punishes wayward shots severely and the higher your handicap the more balls you should bring with you. Hackers are extremely unlikely to get through a round on this course without finding the water or losing a ball out of bounds.

Challenge is the primary obstacle to playing a round at the Albatros as it is an accessible, if a little pricey, course. You can visit the club’s website to book a round or get onto the teebox as part of various package travel deals.