By Claude Grandveaud Vallat
The hundredth anniversary is fast approaching, the traffic jams are going to blow up… Since 1928, the Golf de Reims has brought life to the East of Paris, even if its current layout dates from 1973.
The original version, in the park of the château of the Dames de France – the daughters of Louis XV – was designed by Tom Simpson. The 9 holes were a little cramped between the moat, the beautiful woods and the hilly plain. In 1973, the acquisition of a few hectares made it possible to revise the layout by increasing it to 18 holes. By keeping four holes – 1, 2, 17 and 18 – the Englishman Michael Fenn kept the “Simpson” spirit on a harmonious layout, alternating long holes, often on slopes and uphill, with shorter, more technical ones where bunkers are important towards small elevated greens.
In the recent part, the game is more airy, less constrained, especially as the forest density has been reduced, water saving having become a priority. At the same time, the approach to the 9th has been rethought on a dogleg court. No more trying to hit the green from the tee, the water is watching! The 16th requires a final effort to get the ball to the plateau and then the green.
In the historic park, the 18th remains majestic, bordered by the pond where the castle, host of the club-house, is reflected. It is time to push the door open… And as Churchill said, “Champagne is necessary in defeat, obligatory in victory!”
Golf de Reims
Château des Dames de France – 51390 Gueux
Tél. : 03 26 05 46 10
Architectes : Tom Simpson (1928), Michael Fenn (1973).
18T, 6078 mètres, par 73.