Golfing Around Paris
Don’t be surprised. The French capital offers some of the finest and most prestigious courses in the world
CHANTILLY WHERE IS IT? 25 miles north of Paris.
WHAT’S IT LIKE? The original and most prestigious of many golf clubs in the area is close to the racecourse Château de Chantilly and the world’s most palatial stable block, Les Grandes Ecuries – both fitting neighbors for a French classic.
Vineuil is the thoroughbred of the two courses and the best showcase for the work of Tom Simpson, who comprehensively redesigned the pre-existing course in the aftermath of the Great War.
After damage caused during the Second World War, Donald Steel created an additional full-length course, Longères, out of a mixture of new and old holes. The routing varies from one day to the next – make sure you go out with the right card.
Secluded, but not hemmed in, by forest, the Vineuil layout is spacious, immaculately presented with minimum clutter, and fair, with a close-cropped sward of generous breadth, furrowed by waves of grass-revetted bunkers. Chantilly’s rough is a hayfield of no return – don’t go there. The terrain is mostly flat but the going gets steeper when a deep trench, like a natural dry moat, comes into play for three exciting holes at (or near) the end.
CONTACT Golf de Chantilly, Allée de la Ménagerie; tel +33 344 570 443; golfdechantilly.com.
PRICE € 100 ($114) Mon-Wed, € 110 ($125) Fri; no visitors on the weekends. Caddy available with advanced reservation; electric cart € 25 ($28); cart € 8 ($9).
CLUB RENTAL € 30 ($34). CLUB HOURS 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM; closed Thursdays.
MAXIMUM Men 26, women 32.
FACILITIES Vineuil 6,992 yards par 71; Longères 6,989 yards par 73; practice area, putting green.
AFTER THE GOLF Hats off in the clubhouse, please. Remember who and where you are: a humble postulant in a holy place. Nick Faldo, Roberto de Vicenzo and other big names are on the Champions board, among the winners of Chantilly’s ten French Opens.