Rating: 5 out of 5.

Rating 5/5

Review of Golf de Saint-Germain

This prestigious golf course within the outskirts of Paris has a reputation as being one of the most admired and prominent courses in France. It has hosted the French Open on nine occasions and was designed by the celebrated golf course architect Harry Shapland Colt.

The Golf de Saint-Germain has a fascinating history, having actually been built a good 2 miles away as Golf de L’Ermitage in neighbouring Le Pecq. However, being as Le Pecq is in the flood plains of the Seine, the course was annually flooded causing havoc to the long-suffering members. Consequently, in 1920 the committee of the time decided to find another spot, further inland and on higher ground and it is within the woods of Saint-Germain, that they discovered the current whereabouts.

74 hectares of dense woodland is where Harry Colt was asked to design this majestic 18-hole course. From 1927 to 1985, the Golf de Saint-Germain was the host venue to the French Open on nine occasions and the last winner was the legendary Seve Ballesteros, with others including Sandy Lyle and Bernard Langer having graced its fairways.

The course isn’t overly long, and is instead one to think and plot your way round. The fairways creep through this majestic woodland and are scattered with typical Colt designed bunkers, groupings of two or three deep pots waiting to collect stray golf balls. Pristine fairways weave and meander to well-protected greens to create a seamlessly tranquil round of golf.

From numerous points around the course, players can enjoy beautiful views up to the Norman clubhouse with its dramatic white and black painted exterior. In fact, the clubhouse is an exact replica of its predecessor which sadly went up in flames in 1952, with the only remnants of the Golf de L’Ermitage being the men’s wooden locker room.

The 16th is a short Par 3, again across water with the 17th being a colossal 484 yard Par 4 up a very tight fairway. The signature hole is the 18th providing the ultimate finale to this superb course. The illusion from the tee doesn’t help, with what appears the tinniest of fairway to aim for next to a huge expanse of water. With a good drive comes a difficult decision, do you attack the island green, or do you lay-up?

This course is delightful, brimming with quality and bursting with history and an absolute must play in France. Do yourselves a favour and play Golf de Saint-Germain – visitors are welcome midweek.


  • Designer: Harry S. Colt
  • 18 holes
  • Par 72
  • Length: 6,122 metres (6,695 yards)
  • Slope ?
  • Golf club website: http://www.golfstg.org
  • Phone number: 01 39 10 30 30
  • Private
  • Address: Route de Poissy, F-78100 Saint-Germain-en-Laye