In 1898 the idea of building a golf course started with a Monsieur de la Lombardiere building three holes on his lawn.
Over the years that followed this lead to Golf de l’Ermitage being founded.
It was to become the predecessor of Golf de Saint-Germain.
At this stage the golf course was only 9 holes and the membership was small.
It was also subject to flooding given it’s location by the River Seine.
But the membership was growing..
In 1920 the club moved to a new site in the forest of Saint-Germain.
Harry Colt was enlisted to design a challenging new course to accommodate the swelling membership.
The new 18 hole course was named Golf de Saint-Germain.
A few years later the club acquired additional land and brought Mr Colt back to redesign and extend the course.
He also added a nine hole course named the Parcours de Genets.
Golf de Saint-Germain has hosted many championships over the years including nine French Opens.
Saint-Germain is a parkland course, routed through thick forest.
The land has little undulation, and is an easy, enjoyable walk.
Mr Colt came up with two nines of golf that are beautifully routed around the property nicely negotiating a train track a couple of times.
I appreciated the fact that there was little distance to walk from greens to the next tee- more akin to an old links course than a traditional parkland course!
The fairways are framed by mature trees andmake the lines of play tighter than some will be comfortable with.
Significantly, the course is beautifully bunkered.
I would go so far as to say that the bunkering is the key to playing Saint-Germain.
Yes, you have to be able to play straight, and to stay out of the trees, but the strategic nature of the bunkering asks you to constantly think your way through a hole- it is certainly not just about length or being straight.
Those 116 bunkers are nicely placed, for sure..
The greens are nicely shaped and of ample size to be fair targets if one is able to manoeuvre their tee shot into the right spot.
The course is very well maintained, making it even more enjoyable to play.
I thought Mr Colt’s par 3’s were outstanding, each different, but eachwas challenging, fun and picturesque.
In my opinion Golf de Saint-Germain is world class!
Notable holes include:
- hole 5, a delightful mid length par 3 played to a well bunkered green
- hole 7, another wonderful par 3 with a large cross bunker onscuring the view of the raised green and it's false front.
- hole 10, a short par 4 with a raised green protected by a number of large bunkers with high faces in front of the green
- hole 11, a short par 3 surrounded by bunkers
- hole 17, an awesome par 3 set in a sea of rough edged bunkers, long grass & tussocks
I am not sure if Golf de Saint-Germain is long enough to properly challenge professional golfers these days, but for us lesser mortals who love our golf and travel it is a course that should be high on your list to visit.
We rate Golf de Saint-Germain as a "Travelling Golfer must play!"
The Travelling Golfer can tailor a golf trip to suit your group.
For suggested destinations see: Golf Destinations- France
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