Le golf national - 16 points
There is some fantastic golf in the Paris area. From the majesty of Morfontaine to the charm of Fontainbleau, Paris can provide an unexpectedly magnificent golf break. It is likely that Le Golf National would be high up your list of courses to play in the region having been the host to the French Open for many years and the 2018 Ryder Cup venue. However, after you have experienced it you are unlikely to put it anywhere near the top of the list. The setting has no soul and while the course has some spectacular holes, many are simply mundane.
It sounds romantic when you hear the course is near Versailles and while that is technically true, it is to be found in an industrial estate a few miles away and the clubhouse is in the Novotel hotel (4* but some good deals can be found)! This is real corporate golf. If you have seen Celtic Manor or The Belfry then you know what you are in for.
Don’t get me wrong, there are some good holes. The first and second around the water promise much, and the last 4 holes are based around the water with huge amphitheatres all around. We played it in May and the conditions were average, slow and bumpy greens and patchy fairways. That definitely had an impact but, from speaking to others, this isn’t unusual.
The course is always presented well for the French Open so if you do want to play I would recommend trying to get there end June/beginning of July so the condition concerns are mitigated. Be warned though, the rough here is really punishing and you will suffer if you are wayward from the tee.
As you can tell, I am not a particular fan of the course. Having said that, the professionals seem to enjoy it during the French Open. I think that is probably due to the mundane nature of so many of the other courses they play week in and week out. Morfontaine, Fontainbleau and Saint Germain will never make the cut for a French Open or Ryder Cup. Le Golf National is set up with such events in mind and it is perfectly serviceable from that point of view – but if you come to Paris and only play here you are missing out big time.
BOOKING THE COURSE
You can book on the website though, if the time you are looking for isn't shown, I would encourage you to phone up instead since online availability is a bit unreliable. Winter green fees are €175, rising in the summer months. There are some deals to be had though. On the website offers page they are advertising a green fee plus shared room in the onsite Novotel, in summer 2018, for €210 for weekend stay. This is good value as the green fee alone is normally close to that.
Of course, many people will want to play Le Golf National in the lead up to and following the 2018 Ryder Cup and it's not an awful experience by any means. However, if you are here it would be a real shame not to see the nearby Saint Germain or make the slightly longer journey to Chantilly or Fontainbleau. If you really want to push the boat out though Morfontaine and Les Bordes would be the real highlights. There's a blog I wrote on the subject with some tips here.
2, avenue du golf
78286 Guyancourt cedex
Tel - +33 1 30 43 36 00
Web - https://www.golf-national.com