Courson was a very pleasant surprise and imo a great supplement to the otherwise rather classic courses that Ile de France boasts, other than Golf National and the lesser known Paris International (the latter I have not played).
We caught the course on a splendid sunny day and we weren’t the only visitors since it was the Ryder Cup week. It seemed fitting to play another Robert Von Hagge layout and it certainly did not disappoint. Driving off the Periferique, and into some shabby outskirts of Paris, the entranceway does not impress until you suddenly find yourself in the countryside. The venue has 36 holes of which we played the Vert et Noir loops, considered to be the strongest combination. The clubhouse is a lovely manor with a courtyard. And how French, to enter the bar and terrace, gloriously overlooking the valley in which the Noir layout and some more holes are situated, one has to pass a madame selling all the sophisticated French wines. We saved the burgundy for later on and were overwhelmed by the speed of the (practice)greens. The greens on the course ran true as well and were a joy to putt on.
Now, about the course: the course has an ‘American’ feel to it, which I don’t mean in a negative way (still offensive?), but it’s not quite targetgolf you play here. The greens have multiple levels and are very undulated. The ones guarded by water as well. IT makes for exciting green complexes, such as the risk reward par 5 fifth on the Vert layout. It has an increaslingly narrow undulated fairway with a valley in the middle and the lake coming in from the right. An agressive drive to the right side (don’t hit it too well if you’re a long hitter…) leaves you about 150 to the right front of the massive green. Back left can be reached as well, but it requires a carry of 175 or a well executed draw that catches the slope that runs trough the back of the green. Cowards can lay up to the left and hole their putts to win the hole either way. So, great exciting hole that can be played in different ways!
I also liked the par 5 ninth. If you want to go for it in two, the approach requires a blind shot over a dogleg right. The fairway rises, but the green is lowered and accepts running shots. IT is also guarde by a bunker left.
The Noir loop I think is equally strong, yet more pleasing to the eye. The first half strolls through the hills and features a returning design element: large grassbunkers with sharp edges. Really, your ball can end up anywhere depending on how you hit them… In a fair way though, or I must have caught a lucky break. Some raised teeboxes on this loop that give you a nice panorama over the beautiful land. The two par 5s that share the same moonshaped green guarded by a grand lake can’t be missed. Both good holes, the last being a true threeshotter where the 5th is reachable. The entrance to the green over land is very narrow however, and a bad bounce right of the fairway will lead your ball into the water left. The reward will be great however. There is also a tiny bit of rough around the edges of the green that mercies a ball that keeps running too hard. My favourite hole of the loop was the 7th. The drive is straight forward, although there are bunkers left and right within shooting range. It’s about being in position here to hit to the right part of the Biarritzgreen (Credits to Jim!), as it slopes steeply to the back in the middle, where it also narrows and leaves the back of the green circled by water! That’s where the pin was. Great fun and great greencomplex. Beautiful modern course and great value as well. 4,5 stars for me. MO
Date: October 24, 2018