Royal St George’s versus Roissy International, what a paradox in golf!

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There are a few ponds and very pretty white paths at Roissy International, fifteen minutes away from the terminals

As golf paradoxes or extremes go, I could not have experienced more opposite courses back to back in one week. The legendary course of Royal St George’s in Sandwich Bay, Great Britain, thirty minutes away from the tunnel, and a new one inaugurated in September 2020, Roissy International, next to the landing strips of CDG airport. I won’t bother to describe which one was Paradise and the other one Purgatory, but there were surprises around the corner…

The short n° 3 of Roissy International is one of the pretty holes

On the front nine at Roissy, there was so much fog that we never noticed the planes. The noise was very diffused and the pretty landscape designed by Michel Niedbala on 90 hectares, made me believe that all my anticipated negative feelings were stupid. The fairways are very well kept and the greens are good, if not very fast. Sadly it has all the faults of public courses where no-one bothers to use rakes in the bunkers, nor restore the pitch marks on the greens or replace the divots… We got lost between holes a number of times, because there are miles to walk between each tee, with no numbers on the signalization, but we had a good time, with easy doglegs and very little wait. Many trees have been planted and for a 4 year old course, it is surprisingly grown.

The airplanes land pretty close to the 12-13 th green at Roissy but there are pretty holes

The story was different on the back nine. First it took us 2 hours and fifteen minutes to get to tee n°10 (and we were three fast players). Then, a long uphill walk between the 11 th and 12 th holes killed me and this is exactly the moment when airplanes started landing every minute along the course. They were suddenly very noisy and really got on my nerves: the good surprise was over. I would still recommend playing the front nine if you are waiting between planes and need to stretch your legs! The course is fifteen minutes away from the terminals, the green fees 75€ to 110€  and the vegetation very pretty.

Dogs are part of the game at Royal St George’s where the views are sensational

Playing Royal St George’s is such a privilege that it cannot compare to any other golf course, thanks to the unique atmosphere which reigns over the club. One completes a round in 2 h 30 mns and eventually three hours when playing foursomes (four balls are not allowed). The impeccable fairways of Sandwich bay lead the eye towards Ramsgate  or the French coast line on some holes. Dogs run around in perfect freedom and know where to find their sausage by the 11 th green. It is a men’s course, founded in 1887, which hosted 15 Open championships and accepts ladies since March 2015 when Linda Bayman, a leading British Amateur champion,  became the first member. Its long fairways and strong winds make it a particularly demanding course. Non members can play four balls on Tuesdays provided they have a hcp of 18 or below.

The bunkers are numerous and beautifully kept at Royal St George’s

And a new place of interest nearby is Margate, a beach town with the Turner Contemporary museum and a sculpture by Antony Gormley which dips into the sea. The resort was started in early 19 th century when steamboats arrived from London. But golfers won’t have anything to do with this popular town with Dreamland!

These two courses were interesting in their extreme differences. Golf is all about style and elegance. And of the course the Brits will always win on that level…

Antony Gormley’s sculpture infant of the Turner Contemporary in Margate

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2 Comments on “Royal St George’s versus Roissy International, what a paradox in golf!”

  1. Savais tu que ton blog ( en tout cas cet article) était en Français!!!
    j’imagine que c’est le traducteur automatique qui le traduit.
    En tous cas les deux parcours étaient merveilleusement analysés tu as juste oublié la cueillette inattendue des asperges dans les grands roughs de ST Georges

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