The Lys Chantilly golf course is one of the oldest courses in the Paris area, and was designed by Tom Simpson in 1929. It is beautifully situated in the middle of France’s largest residential condominium community and therefore surrounded by wonderful villas.
This course has recently been purchased by Telecom mogul Xavier Niel but has been part of the noble Chantilly-Rothschild Family woods for a century.
As you know I talk about golf with anyone willing to engage on the topic. I actually heard about this course from my physical therapist. He learned to play there in 1975 at a time when you had to start your golf career at a 24 handicap (far from today’s 54), and when there was only 6,000 golfers in France.
Start late, pay less. Actually, not even that late. We started at 12:40pm and paid €47.50 to play the Chênes (the oldest 19 holes, from 1929). Normal low season price is €95… Pretty sweet deal.
Strong disappointment in this category… The man at the front desk was reading the paper when we came in. He didn’t acknowledge us for a good 40 seconds as he finished reading his article.
Did he smile and welcome us? Nope. Did he thank us for coming to play at their golf course? Nope. Did he give us the scorecard? Nope until we asked.
Anyway, you get the point. Awful service.
3- Fun score: 16/20
My friend Alex had warned me it was a very narrow course with the woods literally hugging the fairways.
Indeed when you take a look at the surrounding landscape you understand that this is not a typical golf course. You are in the woods, where long time ago brave men carved a narrow path to play golf.
And we thank them for that – because it sure is a lot of fun.
I had been told to play very safe and use my irons because the fairways were not only narrow, but protected by very high/deep bunkers. If you are a little reckless, you can indeed find yourself in the bunkers twice on the same hole.
The greens are hilly and if you play during the winter they will most likely be sanded. It means that the ball won’t pitch – so be prepared for it to roll.
I hit a perfect 190-yards 3 iron on this par 3 that rolled beyond the green 200 yards.
Outside of the greens, the course is pretty flat. You won’t encounter technical fairways that would have your feet constantly above or below the ball (if you’re into that, check my review of the Saint Marc Golf course).
4-Lost Balls: 14/20
I lost zero golf balls, and Alex lost only one. You are in the middle of the woods but the course forces you to play safe, so you won’t lose many.
5-19th hole: 15/20
For once we had finished before 5pm so we decided to enjoy this fine club house, very well maintained despite the fact that it has been built almost 90 years ago.
The view is nice, the fireplace is pleasant.
The barman knew what was « la chose« , but of course had never heard of the Arnold Palmer or the John Daly.
Waiters were polite and smiling, so we were delighted with a great customer experience – which made up for the attitude of the front office guy.
You can feel history while playing this course, and the fact that you have to wait to play your driver is nice! It is pleasant to be forced to play strategically — and finally, I’ve played bogey!
Our score was +23 for my friend (20.8hcp), and +18 for me (23.4hcp).