When one thinks of golfing getaways, Paris probably doesn’t make it to the top of the list. So most people are pretty surprised to find out that there are actually quite a few ways to hit the links in the French capital, with more than a few courses to choose from in and around the city.
On the terrace of the Hôtel Fouquet’s Barrière, for instance, you’ll find Golf-Me, a golf simulator complete with 170 captors and high-tech 3D graphics that carry out an exact analysis of the trajectory and rotation of the ball, and the swing of the player. Players can practice their swing, approach shots and drives, with the simulator reproducing the topography of the terrain, the weather and wind factor at 150 of the world’s most prestigious courses, including Saint Andrews and Pebble Beach. Golf-Me is open 7/7 and equipment is provided. It can host 50 people and private events on request.
At The Ritz, hotel guests and golfing fans have a 6-hole putting green and the opportunity to improve their swing and technique in a 1,000 m2 garden. Private lessons are also available on request from a professional and equipment can be hired onsite.
Finally, there is an actual golf course in Paris. The Bois de Boulogne golf course recently moved from Auteuil to the centre of the Longchamp racecourse. It’s still the only golf course in Paris and it’s open every day except on race days.
Roughing It Around Paris
Around Paris, there are numerous golf courses within a radius of 5 to 60 km of the capital.
To the west, smack dab in the middle of the Saint-Cloud race track, the Golf du Paris Country Club offers the biggest practice area in Europe with 200 practice booths. The Rueil-Malmaison golf course is right next to a chateau and its bucolic course is laid out on the bank of the Seine. The Haras de Jardy golf course, at Vaucresson, is a few minutes from the Porte d’Auteuil and known for its excellent practice facilities. Also at Vaucresson, the golf facilities at the Stade Français Haras Lupin feature a 9-hole course and a practice area with 50 booths, including 25 covered ones. The Île Fleurie golf course is a haven of tranquillity and greenery in an exceptional setting on the Île des Impressionnistes. Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines has two golf courses, the Golf National, which each summer hosts the French Open, and a Blue Green located in the midst of a huge outdoor activity centre. The Cergy Golf Club, near the Cergy-Pontoise outdoor activity center, has a fine hilly course that is more technically demanding than it looks. At Croissy-sur-Seine, La Grenouillère golf course has a fine course laid out by the meandering Seine. Near to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, the Fourqueux golf course offers perfect tranquillity right in the midst of the forest of Marly and has many water features. On a plateau overlooking the Seine, the Blue Green de Guerville offers a slightly hilly course accessible to players of all levels. The Maisons-Laffitte golf course is situated in the verdant setting of the race course and is open to non-members.
To the east of the city, the Rosny-sous-Bois golf course offers a fine course, less than 5 km from Paris. The Parc du Tremblay golf course is one of the first compact urban courses in France and is set on 73 hectares of tree-lined parkland. At Livry-Gargan, La Poudrerie golf course has 9 holes and offers introductory sessions throughout the year. The Clément Ader golf course, “the Irish golf course in Paris,” is located in the middle of the forest of Gretz and has lots of water features. The Bussy-Guermantes golf course offers a 9-hole and an 18-hole course, and gives players the chance to reserve their tee-off times online, via its website. The Disneyland Resort Paris golf course, near to the large theme park has 37 holes, open all year. The Torcy golf course at Vaires-Torcy extends over 47 hectares and has been designed like a Scottish links course.
To the north of Paris, the Saint-Ouen-l’Aumône compact urban golf course lies next to a listed natural site and has a 9-hole course, practice area and practice green. The Domont-Montmorency golf course has a fine course ideally landscaped in the middle of a wood of chestnut trees, where the foliage is a magical sight in autumn. The Chantilly golf course, situated in a wonderful setting in Chantilly forest is a beautifully maintained and historic course, with an international reputation (this golf course is reserved for members only at weekends).
Finally, south of Paris, the regional outdoor activity centre of Bois-le-Roi occasional offers access to the golf course for non-members as well as private and group lessons. The Fontainebleau golf course, designed by Tom Simpson in 1909 and recognized as one of the finest courses in France, reflects the natural features of the region with rocks, heather, broom and bunkers.
So, the next time you’re thinking of taking a golfing vacation, you just may want to consider Paris.