Golf break in Chantilly

Apremont Golf Club © T. Joly
A haven of peace close to Paris, Chantilly boasts many golf courses. Different in styles and difficulties, they make the town a great destination for beginners and experienced players alike.

[ Practical ]

Getting there
- By road
45 km from Paris on autoroute A1 then on D317 and 924
- Train
TER train from Paris Gare du Nord to Chantilly Gouvieux. The journey takes 25 minutes.
Hôtel Dolce Chantilly
Route d’Apremont
60 500 Vineuil Saint Firmin
Tel : 0344584777
Garden Forêt de Chantilly
Route d’Apremont
60500 Vineuil Saint Firmin
Tel : 0344584774
Green fee : 76 € per day
Golf d’Apremont
Chemin départemental 606
60300 Apremont
Tel : 0344256111
Green fee : 98 € per day
Club du Lys
Rond point du Grand Cerf
60260 Lamorlaye
Tel : 0344212600
Green fee : 98 € per day
Golf de Raray
4 rue Nicolas de Lancy
60810 Raray
Tel : 0344547061
Green fee : 98 € per day
- Oise Tourist Office
Tel : 0364606060
- Chantilly Tourist Office
Tel : 0344673737
Nestled in a peaceful green setting, Chantilly is worldwide known for its castle and its racecourse where takes place the French Oak. However, this opulent small town just 40 km north of Paris is also a golfer's paradise with ten courses set in the surrounding forests and countryside.

Garden Forêt de Chantilly © T. Joly
 Perfect accommodation
In order to fully enjoy this large offer, the best is to stay at the Dolce Chantilly. This 4* hotel with 200 rooms and suites boasting a gastronomic restaurant indeed has its own golf course, the Garden Forêt de Chantilly. A 6,181 meters long 18-hole par 72 set on a ground with sandy subsoil and so excellent natural drainage where it’s possible to play all year round. The hotel also has “Stay and Play Golf” packages giving access to three other golf courses located in a radius of twelve kilometres.
Designed by Michel Gayon in 1991, the Garden Forêt de Chantilly course is the easiest of them. Too easy claim some players because the fairways are wide, almost flat and mostly pretty straightforward. However, water hazards come in play at holes 1,9, 10 and 18 are intimidating for some beginners.

Garden Forêt de Chantilly © T. Joly
 Garden Forêt de Chantilly
Besides, as the course winds its way through open countryside, it’s necessary to know how to deal with the wind. However grove of trees, shrubs and reeds planted at the time of the creation are growing little by little and are now blocking the wind on some sectors. So, a few greens are now not only protected with bunkers but also with high grass, thus adding complexity and beauty to the course. But one thing doesn’t change, the tranquillity of the place as there is no other noise than bird songs. There is also a large training facility and many golfers like the driving range over water.
Another advantage of the Garden Forêt de Chantilly, children and non-golfers can pleasantly pass the time as they have access to the heated pool, tennis courts and playgrounds of the hotel that also rents bicycles. Icing on the cake, its restaurant, Le Swing, offers probably the best buffet of all golf courses in France because dishes are prepared in the kitchen of the gourmet restaurant.

Apremont Golf Club © T. Joly
 Apremont Golf Club
Just one kilometre away, the Apremont golf club offers a more demanding American style course with beautiful scenery. It is also located on a plot with a sandy subsoil and therefore open all year. 6,395 metres long, this 18-hole Par 72 was created in 1972 by John Jacobs and is considered one of his ten finest achievements. It is predominantly set in flattish woodland with the rest laid out into a more open setting in front of the clubhouse where water comes into play on three holes. The 9th, a par-4s considered Apremont’s signature hole, and two excellent par-3s, the 8th and 16th. With its long and rather wide tree-lined fairways, carefully positioned bunkers, doglegs and teasingly placed lakes, this course draws on golfer entire repertoire of skills. Surrounded by a large terrace, the imposing clubhouse contains an excellent restaurant and an English-style bar with wooden décor.

Lys Chantilly Golf Club © T. Joly
 Lys Chantilly Golf Club
Situated on the other side of Chantilly, in Lamorlaye, the Lys Chantilly Golf Club was for a long time a private club. Recently open to non-members, it offers a more intimate and muted atmosphere. Perhaps because it is hidden in a forest where are set two shorter and tougher water non-existent courses whose sandy subsoil allows all year round play. Measuring 5,905 metres, the 18-hole Par 70, Les Chênes is the oldest. Designed in 1929 by famous English architect Tom Simpson, it features tree-lined fairways, numerous doglegs and carefully positioned bunkers. Requiring accuracy, it fully tests players golfing skills. Named Les Bouleaux, the second course, is relatively similar, although shorter and narrower. 4,930 meters long, this 18-hole Par 68 designed in 1976 by Patrick Cros and Robert Berthet features some sharp doglegs and heavily guarded greens. There is also a Pitch & Putt 9-hole Par 27 inaugurated in 2009 which is accessible to beginners.

Lys Chantilly Golf Club © T. Joly
 Raray Golf Club
Like the Garden Forêt de Chantilly, the Lys Chantilly offers a wide range of activities and services to children and non golfers: tennis courts, swimming pool, equestrian centre, youth club for 7-17 years old and even a day nursery taking babies from 3 months.
A little further away, 12 km to the north of Chantilly, the Raray golf club enjoys an exceptional setting. It indeed occupies the grounds of the 17th century Château de Raray, listed as an historical monument, whose park boasts renaissance balustrades adorned with sculptures depicting hunting scenes, dogs, gods and Antic characters. Unique in France, this setting was chosen by filmmakers Cocteau to shoot his famous black and white 1945 film "Beauty and the Beast". Measuring 6,145 metres, the 18-hole Par 72 course with gentle undulations was designed in 1987 by Patrice Leglise and has an English style. Sometimes unplayable after periods of heavy rain, it is easier than the courses of the Lys Chantilly as fairways are wider.

Raray Golf Club © T. Joly
 Unique clubhouse
Doglegs and well-bunkered greens compensate the lack of water hazards and the first two holes as well as the last two have a parkland character while the other ones are situated in a forest with tall trees. Played towards the castle and lined with majestic trees, the 18th hole provides golfers with a great feeling.
There is also a real 9-hole Par 36 measuring 2,955 m also designed by Patrice Léglise in 1989 with wider fairways which is located in a plain and a 9-hole pitch and putt comprising some water hazards aimed for beginners or players who want to train. There are no activities available for non-golfers, but the clubhouse is located in the castle itself, which has a dining room boasting a wooden ceiling adorned with 17th century painting as well as a dozen hotel rooms.

June 18, 2015
Thierry Joly