OHJ PARIS TOUR 2019
August 26 – 30
Once again, blissful blue skies welcomed us as we navigated our way across northern France, some more successfully than others, along our now well-trodden golf route (even modern technology couldn’t save Fulch and friends from a two hour meander round the highways and byways of the Vexin in search of Villarceaux, nor Ruddles from a long deviation on the road to Belle Dune..).
Sadly GJ had had to withdraw from this tour at the last minute for personal reasons, so we were a merry band of seven, including for the first time as a guest (His Hon) Phillip Matthews.
The entertainment got under way in the mediaeval town of Montreuil-sur-Mer with a most agreeable dinner on the terrasse in the courtyard of the Coq Hotel, setting us up nicely for the testing challenge that is Belle Dune. It was our one misfortune of the week to find ourselves stuck behind two hard-case mixed fourballs, who remained unashamedly oblivious throughout five and a half long hours to anyone behind them and rather blighted the enjoyment. But nothing that a few demis couldn’t put right.
Onwards to the lovely if well-hidden Château du Landel, a privately-owned country-house hotel-cum-farm set in extensive grounds in the middle of the Normandy countryside. Time for a swim and an apéritif before a highly convivial four-course Taste of Normandy in elegant surroundings, and a comfortable night with only the sound of the wood pigeons, plus sundry noises, for company.
At Villarceaux, once everyone had found it, we came into contact again over lunch with the Paris British expat community, and enjoyed a hassle-free round, resulting in some good scoring.
En route to Chantilly for two nights in the Hotel Le Chantilly, an attractively restored old post-house situated right in the centre of town. A super breakfast and good personable service made this a very comfortable base.
The highlight as always was our visit to Morfontaine, unquestionably one of the best courses any of us has played and deservedly rated among the top courses in the world. What a privilege to play, with the course virtually to ourselves and in perfect condition. We were grateful again to David Lawday (elected hon member of the OHJGS in 2018) for his excellent hosting and affable company, both on the course and over another delightful lunch.
Three of our number then had to slip off early, so that Fulch could get home to look after some choirgirls, leaving four of us to finish the tour with an enjoyable final round at the Golf du Lys, in the outskirts of Chantilly. All in all, an excellent week – good company, good stories, good golf, gently fuelled by unusually moderate consumption of Armagnac.
Participants: Roger Goodacre, Dudley Stratford, Derick Fulcher, Bob Carter, Paul Ruddlesdin, Imtiaz Arian (guest), Phillip Matthews (guest)