Best golf courses in Paris
Find out what hidden gems Paris has to offer and why we recommend a golf break to the City of Light.
From a golfing perspective at least, Paris is shockingly underappreciated. One of the continent's top golf destinations with six courses ranked within the Top 100 in Europe, and a plethora of iconic sights to soak up off the course, there’s little not to love about the City of Light.
Of course, no event can elevate a destination's profile quite like the Ryder Cup, and with Le Golf National staging the 2018 edition of the transatlantic event, Paris seems destined to be under the spotlight for a long time to come. With the Eurostar shuttling golfers to the destination in just 2 hours, it might be time to start planning your next golf trip.
The Fontainebleau forest is one of France’s most beautiful and the world-class golf course that runs through it is certainly no different. Tom Simpson, who stamped his mark on several top courses in the area, would be the mastermind behind this beguiling test, which regularly ranks as the top course in France.
An exclusive members club, the pine-clad fairways and small, challenging greens at Fontainebleau are reminiscent of the classic heathland courses across the Channel. Located just outside Paris in an area of extreme beauty and historical importance, a round at Fontainebleau is nothing short of a magical experience.
Welcome to Chantilly, one of the most beautiful courses in Europe. The handiwork of legendary architect Tom Simpson, whose influence can be felt across the region, this unforgiving design is situated 30 miles from Paris in the spectacular Ile de France forest.
There are two courses at the club, Le Vineuil and Les Longeres, as well as a surprisingly English-looking clubhouse. The former is the finer of the two, and regularly voted among the top three courses in France. Many of the games finest have wandered Chantilly’s hallowed fairways over the years, including Bobby Jones and Nick Faldo.
Head twenty miles west of Paris towards the legendary Chateau of Versailles and you will find a setting fitting of golfing royalty. The long-time home of the French Open, a Rolex Series event that annually draws a world-class field, Le Golf National has also been host the 2018 Ryder Cup. It’s a venue that is perfectly suited for the transatlantic match-play event, with mounding to spare and the final holes running through an amphitheatre-like bowl. With water lining the final holes, expect plenty of drama.
No one has ever broken 70 at Les Bordes, such is the severity of the test at this stunning Robert von Hagge design. Bestowed a beautiful location in the heart of the enchanting Loire Valley, Les Bordes is consistently ranked among Europe’s finest courses. This is one of France's most exclusive venues and the area of mystery that shrouds the venue only adds to the anticipation of playing this world-class test.
Golf de Morfontaine, is so good that many consider it to boast the best golf course in Europe. As with the other two courses that form the triumvirate of classic Parisian courses, Tom Simpson was behind the original design at Morfontaine. More recently, Kyle Phillips has had a hand in shaping the timeless design, lengthening the course so it remains relevant to the modern-day golfer. Golf here is by invite only and few get the opportunity to play this heathland paradise. Those that do are unlikely to ever forget.
Harry Colt was behind many of the top golf courses in France, including the fabulous course at Saint Germain. Located just to the west of Paris, this tree-lined layout has a rich history, playing host to the French Open nine times. A delightful parkland course, golfers must plot there way carefully around the tight test, avoiding the cunning bunkers and the wizened trees that line the fairways.
There’s a feeling of stepping back in time at the beautiful Golf de Joyenval, a 36-hole complex which boasts two fantastic Robert Trent Jones Snr designs. This is a club that shuns publicity and as a result, golfers are often unaware of the fabulous offering at the resort. The finer of the two courses at the resort, Marly is located in the heart of the Marly-le-Roi forest and as a result, despite being just 25 kilometres west of Paris, feels a million miles from the hubbub of the city.
Ideal to combine with a round at the iconic Les Bordes, Les Aisses is one of a trio of fabulous courses in the Sologne. Located on a huge 625 acre property, just off the Loire River, there are three loops of nine at the resort. Once a charming and somewhat eccentric course, Hawtree Ltd would undertake a massive redesign in 2010, elevating Les Aisses to one of the finest courses in Northern France.
Nestled in a deep forest surrounding a maze of lakes, this challenging 18-hole golf course is definitely one to watch, combining difficulty with beauty. Just an hour from Paris, it measures in at 7,036 yards from the back tees and uses clever doglegs to test the golfer’s accuracy with the driver. Watch out for the carpet-like fairways and water holes. The idyllic surrounding scenery makes this a very much sought-after golf course.
Senior Groups European Travel Consultant