Fontainebleau - North East France - France

Golf de Fontainebleau,
Route d'Orleans,
77300 Fontainebleau,
France


  • +33 (0) 1642 22295

Fontainebleau is one of the largest and most beautiful French forests and, lying close by, is one of France's most charming and longest established golf clubs - Fontainebleau. This area is steeped in history and royal association and the course is sited within an ancient walled boundary, which adds to the historic ambiance.

The course was originally designed in 1909 by Julien Chantepie, one of the early professionals at La Boulie. Tom Simpson was then engaged to modify this layout ten years later. Since that time, the course has undergone a number of changes, most notably at the hands of Fred W. Hawtree in the late 1950s. Nevertheless, the shape and personality of the course retains many of Simpson's early features.

Fontainebleau is not particularly long, measuring 6,074 metres from the back tees, but the greens are small and well guarded. Players will need to think their way round and leave nothing to chance. With small targets to aim at, a good short game is an important advantage.

There is a distinct feeling of England at Fontainebleau, where the fairways wind their way through a rich forest of beech, oak and pine. Keep your eyes peeled for the deer, which are occasionally spotted bolting from the flight of a wayward drive.

The soil at Fontainebleau is wonderfully sandy and well drained, and the many sandstone rocks that are part of the area's natural geology are cleverly integrated into the course. Of particular note is the par five 12th, where large sweeping white rocks block part of the fairway, like white waves on a green ocean. The presence of the thick pine forest means that there is little rough, a bonus, you may think, but the uncomfortable proximity of the dense trees lining each fairway provides its own significant hazard. The semi-blind approach shot to the flat green on the 15th comes in for criticism, but the remaining holes at Fontainebleau more than make up for it. In fact, given the tricky nature of most of the greens here, a dull flat one makes a nice change.

Fontainebleau is invariably ranked in the Europe's top 20 golf courses and it really is well worth a visit. The area, within easy reach of Paris, is full of historic interest and any golf trip can be combined with some memorable sightseeing. The Chateau at Fontainebleau is an absolute treat for enthusiasts of 16th century architecture, history and art.

The Ile de France region has more golf courses than anywhere else in the country but they don't come much better than the delightful Golf de Fontainebleau.

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Reviews for Fontainebleau

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Description: The Ile de France region has more golf courses than anywhere else in the country but they don't come much better than the delightful Golf de Fontainebleau. Rating: 8.5 out of 10 Reviews: 15
TaylorMade
David Jones

Fontainebleau definitely deserves its high ranking in the French list as it is a really wonderful setup. We visited in a pretty wet spell of weather in early May but the course had drained magnificently and the greens were as true as you will find. The lovely thing about this course is you don't have to muscle it around to get satisfaction. It's not a brute but keeping it in play and placement are the key. Your score will generally be made around the greens with fascinating run-offs and great bunkering. If I had one criticism it would be that 3 of the 4 par 3s had a similar rather long yardage of 180+ yards from the whites. The same can't be said of the par 5s though which had a delightful variety. I found previous criticism of the par 4 9th a little harsh. I actually thought it was a great dogleg, helped by the 6 footer knocked in for birdie of course. All in all Fontainebleau was a really great golf experience. It is authentic. You can smell the history of the place. The course is a testament to a great creation from years ago, there is nothing that feels manufactured or contrived - no cart paths, no artificial lakes, no tricked up nonsense. I had been worried about what I had read elsewhere about the encroachment of the trees from the tees but found no issues, the conditioning was magnificent. Of those other courses in the top 10 I have played in France it knocks the socks off of the National and Saint Germain - for reasons which will be apparent from my reviews of those. The other course I have played is the Chateau at Terre Banche which is definitely another wonderful setup, but it is so hard to compare the two given you are comparing a Four Seasons resort versus a historical icon. They both get 5 stars but if I could play one tomorrow then Fontainebleau gets the nod.

May 10, 2012
8 / 10
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steve grainger
played on the way down to the Dordogne and very similar to a Surrey sandbelt course. Very quiet and worth making the effort to play. Also played at nearby Cely Golf and Country Club which is nice enough but not in the same league
August 18, 2008
8 / 10
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Cédric
As a links lover, it would always take something extra special to a park/heath land course to get the same ranking in my views. Well, it never got that close today after my round at Fontainebleau!!! Definitely the best inland course I have played so far (can Sunningdale, Wentworth, Walton Heath, Woodhall Spa and co beat it when I have a chance to play those top courses??) In 2001, “Golf Européen” gave Fontainebleau the gold medal in France. They might just be right!! I probably haven’t played enough courses in France to tell though… More clue about that next week after a round at Les Bordes! But let me tell you right away that Fontainebleau is better than Morfontaine, usually always with a higher rank (my theory is that the extreme exclusivity of Morfontaine gets it a little plus!!)… This course is really awesome, perfect if it wasn’t for the 9th hole. A really weak and uninspiring hole, the only one, didn’t help when the grass on the tee box is as high as the semi rough! Fontainebleau treats you with 17 fantastic holes in a superb forest, elevated tees galore and 18 velvet, fast and fantastic greens. It isn’t long (only need the driver on 4 holes), despite some scary carries over the gorse, has a lot of strategically placed bunkers, and the greens are so tricky that you’d better take you’re “A” putting with you if you want to score decently. At 75 euros mid week, this is a superb value for money!! Cédric
August 16, 2007
10 / 10
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Cidric
August 20, 2007
Had a great talk with the manager the day after my round, the day after I wrote my first review. We discussed that 9th hole that didn''t impress me at all, at least the tee shot. Concerning the tee platform, he explained me that it was a new one and given its situation in a corner of trees where the sunlight is likely to be lacking more often than anywhere else, they cannot cut the grass as often as they would like too. In order to preserve it, it is done less often and was actually done a couple of hours after my round.... Anyway, that 9th tee didn''t really change my opinion on that course!!! Yes it is the best heathland course I have played and I loved every minute!!!Cédric
MAJCHER CHRISTIAN
December 18, 2007
It's a jewel. A wonderful course around forest. Of course the best in France. And I am not the only person to think this.
Alex Deutsch
This is a lovely parkland style course beautifully situated in the Forêt de Fontainebleau, an hour from Paris. The clubhouse offers a very nice warm welcome to this truly superb English-style course. Though this beautiful course is in France, the golfer will frequently feel as though he were in one of the heathland courses surrounding London, as this course is excellently designed in that fashion. The course is put together to propose a tricky at times, though fair and beatable challenge to the golfer. The course is very well maintained, and has beautiful, tricky greens, as well as well kept up wave-shaped bunkers that can at times propose a harsh challenge. Overall, this is a terrific course and one should certainly brave the one-hour car ride to experience this gem.
June 14, 2007
10 / 10
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Tim Browne
A magnificent example of Tom Simpson's design ability that remains a great challenge today. After a rather straightforward looking first hole you are then met with a series of excellent holes with testing par 3s terrific par 4s from high tee boxes and even a par 5 with rocks in the middle of the fairway. Adventure all the way. It has a stretch of shorter holes near the end that are not the most challenging holes. A fine course, always worth playing. Wonderful French cuisine in the clubhouse.
August 07, 2006
8 / 10
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