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The regular host of the oldest national Open on the DP World Tour, the Open de France, is Le Golf National in Paris.
There are actually 45 holes at Le Golf National, but the biggest tournaments - which has included the 2018 Ryder Cup - takes place on L'Albatros, a course designed by Hubert Chesneau and Robert Von Hagge, in consultation with Pierre Thevenin. It is regarded as one of the best courses in France and one of the toughest on the DP World Tour, and is well known for the huge expanses of water throughout, as well as a lack of trees.
The water is necessary because the course, which opened in 1990, is built on the clay silt of the Parisian basin, so without man-made lakes it would be too swampy to play after rain. Meanwhile, the scarcity of trees is equally deliberate, and is down to a decision by the French Golf Federation to have a mature course from the outset, and not one that would need decades for trees to grow.
The closing stretch is one of the elements that makes the course particularly challenging. It begins with the par-4 15th that has water running alongside the right and an island green. Meanwhile, the 18th shares the same island, albeit with a separate green, making it one of the most distinctive - and tricky - finishes of any course. In between those, the par-3 16th also features water along its right, including at the green, while the 17th features an uphill tee shot with a green sloping from right to left.
As well its regular status as the venue for the Open de France, Le Golf National is also due to host the golf competition of the 2024 Olympics, ensuring it'll remain one of the most high-profile venues in continental Europe in the coming years.
If you'd like to experience a round at Le Golf National the good news is it's straightforward, with a standard course rate of €200. Meanwhile, there is also the option of staying at the resort in its Novotel hotel with packages from €170 for a round on L'Albatros with a night's stay and breakfast.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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