Trump Bedminster (New)

Bedminster Township, New Jersey

Fontainebleau Golf Club (Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne)

Fontainebleau Golf Club logo Golf Course Review by: Billy Satterfield

Rankings: 

   

The Takeaway:  One of Paris' finest tracks, Fontainebleau enjoys much more movement in the terrain than what is typically found in France and hence features some dramatic hole designs. The trademark rock formations and quality two-shotters are the highlight.  Grade B+

Quick Facts

Designer:  Tom Simpson 1919

Phone Number:  +33 1 64 22 22 95

Course Website:  Official Website - Visit Fontainebleau Golf Club's official website by clicking on the link provided.

Directions:  Get here! - Route d'Orleans, Fontainebleau, Seine-et-Marne  77300 – FRANCE

Photos:  See additional photos of Fontainebleau Golf Club

What to Expect:  A Tom Simpson design hailing back to 1919, Fontainebleau is located about 40 miles south of Paris and enjoys property with more character and undulation than one might expect in a country that is known mostly for its flat terrain. The opening three holes create one of the best starts in Continental Europe with a par 4, 3, and 5 that incorporate into the design the large rock formations that characterize the property. The course's routing features the front nine holes generally operating in a clockwise direction and encompassing the outer edges of the property while the back nine begins with a counterclockwise routing before holes move in various directions within the interior of the property. All of the holes are carved out of dense forest with the high points being at the 3rd and 13th tees that ascend on top of the boulders, offering extremely elevated tee shots with expansive views. The amount of trees framing the fairways create a nice crack sound with your driver but an equally disturbing thump sound when your ball flies into one. The strength of Fontainebleau is found in the par fours with its wide range of length, shapes, and strategies while the par 3s and 5s are very good designs but without the same variety. Despite being more than 150 miles from the ocean, Fontainebleau enjoys wonderfully sandy soil which helps with drainage, conditioning, and the overall enjoyment of the course. Despite the monotony of playing through dense trees every hole, Fontainebleau delivers with good terrain and quality architecture that help it be an excellent inland course that is certainly among the finest tracks in France.

By the Numbers

Tees Par Yardage Rating Slope
Black 72 6784 73.0 137
White 72 6587 72.0 136
Yellow 72 6201 70.2 132
Blue 72 5686 67.9 127
Red (Ladies) 72 5275 71.4 130

Individual Hole Analysis

Signature Hole:  3rd Hole – 527 Yard Par 5 – A beautiful tee shot presents itself on the 3rd hole with a 45 foot drop down to the fairway giving players an extensive view of the hole and beyond. There is a bunker in the middle of the fairway that sits 245 yards from the center of the green that will cause players to decide whether to stay short of it or try to carry it. The front of the green is open and receptive to aerial or ground shots while bunkers flank each side of the putting surface that stand in wait to catch balls that steer off line. The course's largest elevation change occurs here, so enjoy the extra yardage it takes off the hole and try to reach the green in two.

3rd Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (527 Yard Par 5)
3rd Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (527 Yard Par 5)

3rd Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (527 Yard Par 5)
3rd Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (527 Yard Par 5)

Best Par 3:  2nd Hole – 177 Yards – This is just a beautiful hole in one of France’s more unique settings. Playing slightly uphill to the green, the 2nd is a mid-length par three that is tucked into the hillside that features a heavy dose of stone that Fontainebleau is so famous for. Pins tucked in the far right side of the green can be out of view from the back tees while hole positions in the center and left thirds will give players confidence to go flag hunting. The last thing you want to see is your ball ricocheting off the rock, so take plenty of club to reach this putting surface and see if you can card a birdie early.

2nd Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (177 Yard Par 3)
2nd Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (177 Yard Par 3)

2nd Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (177 Yard Par 3)
2nd Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (177 Yard Par 3)

Best Par 4:  1st Hole – 336 Yards – It is rare to have one of the most memorable and enjoyable holes of the course be the opening offering, but that is exactly what you get here at Fontainebleau. Tipping out at just 336 yards, players that are feeling good about their driver can take a rip at trying to chase their tee ball up near the putting surface. Players looking to lay back will take aim over the center of the three cross bunkers to set up an approach into the circular green that has bunkers at each of the front corners. Fontainebleau's iconic rocks are peppered on the hill behind the green which creates a memorable opening to the course.

1st Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (336 Yard Par 4)
1st Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (336 Yard Par 4)

1st Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (336 Yard Par 4)
1st Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (336 Yard Par 4)

Best Par 5:  12th Hole – 455 Yards – A brief look at the scorecard would make one think that this was a par four considering it tips out at 455 yards, but the design dictates a hole that is better considered a three-shotter for many players. Long hitters will need to stay short of the trio of bunkers that cross the fairway 165 yards from the fairway as getting in them will almost assure a layup on the second shot. Perhaps more concerning than the bunkers are the minefield of rocks peppered throughout the terrain from 75 yards short of the green's center up to the front edge of the putting surface. Players that can't carry their ball all the way onto the playing surface with the second shot will see their ball play Plinko through the rocks and are better off laying up short and attacking the flag with their third shot. This hole is vulnerable to giving up birdies for sure, but falling victim to the rocks can make things go bad quickly.

12th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (455 Yard Par 5)
12th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (455 Yard Par 5)

12th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (455 Yard Par 5)
12th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (455 Yard Par 5)

12th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (455 Yard Par 5)
12th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (455 Yard Par 5)

Birdie Time:  17th Hole – 285 Yard Par 4 – An absolute gift is offered at the penultimate hole where players can take a stroke back from Old Man Par late in the round. The hole tips out under 300 yards and will have all players licking their chops as they decide who to attack this shorty. The tee shot is relatively open by the course's standards and players who can hit a draw will benefit by their ball following the shape of the fairway towards the green. While the green is fronted by a pair of bunkers, the vulnerable putting surface doesn't feature any crazy contours and begs players to go pinseeking with their approach shot. Pick up a bird here and carry that momentum into the final hole.

17th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (285 Yard Par 4)
17th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (285 Yard Par 4)

17th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (285 Yard Par 4)
17th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (285 Yard Par 4)

Bogey Beware:  15th Hole – 453 Yard Par 4 – From the back tee, this is by far the most intimidating tee shot found at Fontainebleau with the narrow opening through the trees and long carry making Augusta National's 18th look like it's a mile wide. Even a successful tee shot will leave players with their longest approach into the green for the day since this is the course's lengthiest two-shotter. 70 yards short of the green is a hill that crosses the fairway and features a pair of bunkers that block the view into the fairway which results in the club putting a 10 foot flag in the hole so that players have a target to aim at. There is nothing easy about this hole where bogies are much more common than pars.

15th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (453 Yard Par 4)
15th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (453 Yard Par 4)

15th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (453 Yard Par 4)
15th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (453 Yard Par 4)

15th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (453 Yard Par 4)
15th Hole at Fontainebleau Golf Club (453 Yard Par 4)

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