Watch the vid first and read about it after...
How far can you get?
My old dear lives in Cornwall. It’s beautiful, but whenever I jump on the train to go and visit her I realise what an absolute mission it is from anywhere.
As I looked out of the train window peering at golf courses it got me thinking… how far could I get in the time I’m on this stupid train?
I thought to myself by Eurostar I could actually get to most of Western Europe in the time it takes to have a Cornish Pasty in my mouth.
Two hours dead into Paris from Kings Cross I thought.
Isn’t that where the Ryder Cup is going to be?
(Sticks Le Golf National in Google Maps)
And the idea was born…
So why not get up nice and early, play an awesome course around London, before jumping on the Eurostar, playing the Ryder Cup course, before going out into Paris for some wine and… more wine?
Life is nothing if you don’t follow through with ideas right?
So we got in touch with our mates at TomTom who got involved and before we knew it we were at Victoria station at some mental time in the morning.
Blurry eyed and too early to really eat anything it was Cafe Nero all round before the train down to Swanley and a taxi to London Golf Club which is out in Kent.
If you’ve ever been there you’ll know it’s the most beautiful place built on huge grounds. It’s in impeccable nick and it’s no surprise the European Tour played their matchplay event there a couple of years back.
I’d go as far as saying it’s the best setup in the South East. It’s premium but they ain’t stuffy.
By about 7:40am we were teeing off the beautiful Heritage course which has plenty of water and plenty of rough.
I banged my first drive, stuck on short iron on the green, rolled a putt up close and tapped in for par. Not once in the next 24 hours would be life be so easy!
Three of us and our cameraman blitzed around before getting a taxi to Ebbsfleet to get on the 12:30pm to Paris.
The second leg
We realised you couldn’t check your golf clubs on the train at Ebbsfleet though so had to leave them in the staff room and grab some clubs the other end… not that they worked anyway.
Tbf the Eurostar is a beauty. Unlike the airport where you are messing about for two hours in the airport before you take off, without any transfer to and from the airport.
It’s get on the train, gun it under the channel, pop out in Paris Gard Du Nord Station in a couple of minutes over two hours. You can’t argue!
That station is nuts though. It’s full of locals trying to rip you off.
One dude did the old trick of banging into my mate James and dropping some random piece of tech on the floor and saying he damaged it, then demanding 50 euros.
James told him to, and I quote, “Fuck off”.
Those words translate so well into any language.
Next up was the taxi hustlers who when we mentioned Le Golf National went through a list that showed it would be 290 euros, before quickly negotiating down to 150.
We were in a bit of a rush but one of the lads checked Uber and it came up as 50 euros so we booked… there’s a bit of advice for ya!
What a course!
Le Golf National was about 30 minutes drive once we got out of the mentalness around the station and what a place.
It was setting up for the French Open which is in two weeks time and the whole place was banging. Not only that the staff were top class. Like really good!
I really struggle with staff in some of these golf places being too OTT, sucking up to you too much, it all feels a bit disingenuous… but these lads were quality.
They showed us out to the 1st tee which will be quality in the Ryder Cup. Water all down the left, like loads of water, and then the same water to hit over onto the green with a dogleg right.
The director of golf told us to take irons and play short of the water so we all took driver out.
I hit a power hook that was picking up speed as it bounced it to the water, before the other two lads bottled it and got irons out. They both ended up inches from the water.
This was the time to realise how good the TomTom watches we had been given were. They gave you distances to hazards, front, middle and back of greens whilst also recording your round to the app without you pressing anything… very clever!
The holes just kept coming with a load of water and seriously, THE MOST brutal rough. You were losing balls in the semi. It really is a ball strikers course, someone who keeps it in the short grass!
The whole way round the holes just kept on coming and all I was thinking is how good the Ryder Cup will be here. Especially the final few holes…
Notably 15 a Par 4 over water where they’d literally put the pin in the water it was so close to the edge and the final 18th, a short Par 5 over water but once again with a million rank places they can put the pin.
Cheeky night out too
Seriously some of these newish courses you can be left a little disappointed with. With Le Golf National you won’t. C’est magnifique!
We had just gotten in before sunset after teeing off at like 5:30. A mix of filming and a leisurely visit to the halfway hut meant our round took us 4:30 hours which people on Twitter piled in with… SHHHH!
A quick beer at the adjacent hotel and we blitzed it back up to our hotel via the Arc De Triomphe for the quick turnaround.
Out to the Bastille part of Paris which was bustling with loads of bars and outside sports to eat. We tried a fair few of them and ended up in an African style bar until like 6am.
We thought we may aswell check out the Eiffel Tower whilst we were in town so the taxi driver dropped us there on the way home and we played football on the grass with some locals a little bit worse for wear.
Back in the hotel for for 7am ish and an hour and a bit sleep before we had to be up to catch Eurostar home.
We didn’t make the train.
Fancy taking on Le Golf National? Check out this exclusive deal with Your Golf Travel
2 Nights, Bed & Breakfast accommodation (Novotel Saint Quentin Golf National)
2 Rounds of Golf (1 x L'Albatros & 1 x L'Aigle)
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£285 per person (based on two sharing a twin/double room)
Valid for travel Friday / Saturday, subject to availability, until 31st October 2017, T&C's apply
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I'm the Managing Editor at The Club. I like putting and Rioja. I dislike my low slice.