PARIS FOR PLEA­SURE

What to see if you're headed to the Ry­der Cup.

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Contents - By Barry Havenga

As ry­der Cup host venues go, there’s sel­dom any­thing more to do than at­tend the golf. But it will be quite the op­po­site for fans trav­el­ling to the 42nd bi­en­nial matches in the last week of Septem­ber – they’ll have to tear them­selves away from the al­lure of the Parisian city cen­tre.

I vis­ited the City of Light for the first time in May and made the jour­ney to Le Golf Na­tional two weeks be­fore its an­nual stag­ing of the Open de France. On the south­west out­skirts of Paris, Le Golf Na­tional is not the eas­i­est place to reach, you’ll need over an hour travel time from one of three ma­jor cen­tral train sta­tions fol­lowed by a bus ride.

I was some­what un­der­whelmed by the fa­cil­ity, the club­house lacked at­mos­phere and his­tory – and pay­ing €3.70 (R60) for a Coke in the bland half­way house didn’t help – but once out on the course you can see why tour­ing pro­fes­sion­als rate the lay­out so highly.

Truly one of the great cities of the world, Paris is an ab­so­lute de­light to visit with an in­ex­haustible wealth of ac­tiv­i­ties to pur­sue. I en­joyed the Saint-Ger­main area most, where bou­tiques and old streets meet his­tor­i­cal mon­u­ments and fash­ion­able cafés.

Lunch or din­ner at Le Re­lais de l’En­trecôte for Steak-Frites is an ab­so­lute must here. Don’t worry about get­ting lost in trans­la­tion when or­der­ing, there’s only one dish.A salad starter sprin­kled with wal­nuts, and fresh bread be­fore the magic hap­pens; strips of con­tre-filet (sir­loin) topped with their much-cel­e­brated se­cret sauce and thin-cut golden French fries. EtVoilà… Steak-Frites! It’s not cheap, but noth­ing is in Paris.

City of ro­mance and rev­o­lu­tion, a mix of cafe philoso­phers and Chanel cou­ture, Paris is a cul­ture-lover’s dream. Just don’t for­get about the golf!

‘THE HOLY GRAIL OF GOLF ON THE EURO­PEAN TOUR, LE GOLF NA­TIONAL IS SIM­PLY IN­CRED­I­BLE.’ - BRAN­DON STONE

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