Saint Germain - North East France - France

Golf de Saint Germain,
Route de Poissy,
78100 Saint-Germain-En-Laye,
France


  • +33 (0)1391 03030

  • François Bardet

  • Harry S. Colt

  • Olivier Barbier de Saint-Hilaire

Measuring 6,734 yards from the championship tees, Golf de Saint Germain is located to the west of Paris in the forest of Saint Germain. The club was originally founded in 1902 as Golf de l’Ermitage and their course was situated on the banks of the river Seine but in 1920 they moved to their present location when members grew tired of the river flooding their 18-hole layout.

St Germain is one of several French golf projects that Harry Colt was involved with in the early part of the 20th century, the others being Cannes Mandelieu, Chantaco, Saint Cloud, Granville (with Charles Alison) and Le Touquet (with J. H. Taylor).

The club has hosted the French Open nine times and it has been won at St Germain by golfers from eight different nations (with only Scotland providing multiple champions in the shape of George Duncan in 1927 and Sandy Lyle in 1981). The last winner here was Seve Ballesteros when he shot a course record 62 on his way to capturing the 1985 Open de France.

The first world amateur team championship for women was held over the course in 1964, when the ladies from the home nation lifted the prestigious Espirito Santo Trophy.

A delightful parkland course that flows through avenues of majestic trees, St Germain is a thinking golfer’s course where one must plot their way round the property, avoiding the strategically placed bunkers and steering clear of the trees that line every fairway and shelter every green.

Following a meeting of the Colt Association at Stoke Park and visits to Swinley Forest and Sunningdale at the end of the 1990s, the club assembled a small team to oversee the restoration of the course to its original design.

Superfluous trees and bushes were removed and putting surfaces reshaped and resized, with Colt’s trademark false fronts restored at many of the greens. Selective bunker removal was undertaken and over fifty greenside traps were renovated, returning green surrounds to their original appearance.

As Philippe Delaune, the St Germain President says, “If our club is lucky enough to possess a renowned architectural heritage, it is our duty to preserve its authenticity… The course can evolve but it must retain its original character”.

The book 500 world’s greatest golf holes by author George Peper and the editors of GOLF magazine features the 444-yard par four 14th at Saint Germain: “Like many of the 1920s-era courses around Paris, Saint Germain’s character reflects the many stages of its life. At this hole, despite decades of tree growth that now leave the hole a private wooded enclave, vestiges of a more open, linkslike design remain. Mounded, closely sculpted fairway bunkers that pinch the tee shot landing area are covered with fescue-like long grass, while the crowned green is bunkerless in front and therefore receptive to a variety of mid-trajectory approaches.”

Golf de Saint Germain offer excellent practice facilities with a driving range, pitching and putting greens and an additional 9-hole layout so make use of them before tackling the main course!

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Reviews for Saint Germain

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Host on numerous occasions to the French Open, Saint Germain is a delightful park course, which flows through avenues of majestic trees. Rating: 5.6666666666667 out of 6

Played this in May 2017, and it is a wonderful course. It is quite flat, with most fairways fairly tight and tree lined, making this a tricky course, which was in fantastic condition. A lovely old clubhouse, and a generally quaint feel to the place made this a course to return to.

May 19, 2017


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As this is my first course review, I will start with my home course: Golf de Saint Germain. As a course, this classic Harry Colt has hosted numerous French Opens, and every year hosts one major Amateur Event. Until the 80s the course was frequently referred to as an inland links. That was before the club installed its automatic watering system. The course is known for its massive greens, which are its best defence. 4 very tough and gorgeous par 3s remind the connoisseur that he is on a Colt Design. Located in the middle on an old Royal Forest, my guests are often amazed by the wide range of specimen trees, and on the 14th, one will be able to marvel at an oak tree dating from the XVII century.

As a club, Saint Germain is elite in the Paris area. That ensures that the course is always in great condition and apart from lunchtime at weekends, there is no need to reserve a tee time … and also …make sure to have lunch on the terrace overlooking the 9th green and 1st tee.

Now for my member’s tip: if at all possible, one should tee off at around 5-6 pm in June & July. As the sun sets on the fairways, the light, the shadows, the trees … the course’s beauty is magnified. Nature takes back its course: the deer come out, the rabbits run around the forest …great stuff !

Enjoy Saint Germain

April 27, 2016


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I must admit that St. Germain was certainly one of the surprises on my last trip to France. I knew it was a classic Colt course but have to say given the relatively flat property Colt really hit a homerun in terms of the routing. There is a fair bit of shaping and earth moving that has been done, especially on most of the par 3’s, but they are really exceptional. The routing of this course really flows wonderfully with very short green to tee walks. The maintenance is also notably superb, in fact, alongside Les Bordes, certainly the standout of the top courses in France. I would venture to say St. Germain is without a doubt among the very best members clubs in France where the utmost enjoyment is received by its membership as a whole from playing golf at their course. This really can only be achieved when a course is playable for all levels and still presents enough challenge for the top players. This aspect was really in contrast in many ways from the courses we experienced at Les, Bordes, Chantilly and Fontainebleau all of which were also excellent courses.

However, it was in particular the par 3’s that really stood out for me at St. Germain. It’s a surprisingly great day out on the links, and make sure to enjoy lunch or dinner in the restaurant as well… it’s equally as lovely as the course.
September 25, 2014


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St Germain is one of the best “non-links” courses I have ever played. This is a typical Colt design with the finger shaped bunkers covered by sand all the way to the top, a very difficult feature to maintain for the green keepers. The course is situated in a beautiful and peaceful forest only 15 km from Paris. All the holes flow naturally one after the other, on both sides of an out of use railway. Condition was second to none but the member I played with assured me it was only average to their standards. Truth be told, the will host the French Championships next week and I can only assume the condition will be even better then. Colt’s par 3s are always terrific and these make no exception. A par 4 stroke me even more; the 10th, only 330 meters long is one of the most beautiful I have seen anywhere. The course is not overly long (6131 meters) but is a great test nonetheless. I don’t think one could ever get bored playing this course, which my playing partner confirmed. Members are very friendly and you are always welcome to get a green fee on week days. Despite its location, a real familial and countryside-like atmosphere reigns here. If you want to give yourself a treat, organize a 4-5 day trip to Paris where you would enjoy all the Capital’s cultural opportunities as well as rounds of golf at St Germain, Chantilly and Fontainebleau: you can’t regret it. A model golf club where everything was perfect from start to finish. Cédric
May 18, 2008


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This was a truly tremendous course. As soon as you reach the club by car, you are instantly immersed in greatness, as you witness the grandeur that is the St. Germain Golf Club. A true parkland style course, it has an added dimension with the towering trees, providing a forest-like atmosphere. Though the course has a British feel (and why shouldn’t it, it’s designed by H.S. Colt himself), there is a French feel about the place as well. From the perfect greens to the beautiful fairways and the well-kept bunkers, this course is kept in immaculate condition. As always with a Colt course, it is a stern test, if not a brute, and many a golfer is frustrated by the difficulty. Many a golf ball is lost to the towering fescue, which will penalize any golfer who hooks or slices a drive. As always with a Colt masterpiece, the par 3’s are superb, and the seventh hole (the fifteenth handicap), though seemingly benign, can bare fangs with an off-target approach. The green is almost completely surrounded by bunkers, and is on a plateau, so a shot errant-left must clear a hill of about six feet in height. Once again, a terrific course that is truly a must-play, and remember: your score here will certainly not be to your handicap.
June 13, 2007


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This is a Club with a lot of style and considerable class. The golf course is a true Harry Colt gem. The mature trees have probably grown considerably since the course was built and the holes become more enclosed and secluded from each other but the quality of design and layout are unmistakably Colt. Add to that the wonderful bunkering with a lot of fairway bunkers and some cross bunkers and you could be in Surrey with an accent. A majestic course where you step from green to tee and play a great variety of shots to the many superb holes. As always with Colt the par 3s are excellent. Tres bon.
August 07, 2006


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