The only nine-hole course in our Continental Top 100, and a slightly left-field entry… but one we are confident we are correct about.
The Valliere was designed in an age when golf was a game considerably more about plotting than bombing and with plenty of opportunity for drama and excitement.
That spirit is certainly captured here, at this famed club in a serene forest on the northern outskirts of Paris, and in a unique way.
At times, the greens look like they belong in the Himalayas in St Andrews – it sometimes seems impossible to stop the ball near the hole and requires an imagination beyond that of mere mortals still full from a good lunch.
The course has three each of par 3s, 4s and 5s – although no hole is more than 450 yards long.
You won’t find the Valliere in other Top 100 Continental lists, but as bold as it might seem, some very good judges think we have been conservative in our positioning.
If anything, it might be more punishing than the Grand Parcours, our Continental No.1; stray from the fairway and the rough is thicker on the Valliere, which is also the work of Tom Simpson just as its big sister is.
Positioning off the tee is vital – sometimes a longer drive is useful to help you stop your ball on the correct part of the green but at others you are better to be a little further back to have a full shot for your approach rather than a fiddly half-club distance.
It is hard to imagine there is a better nine-hole course anywhere in the world, and like the ‘Big Course’ is an experience to cherish.
You won’t find the Valliere in other Top 100 Continental lists – at the moment anyway – but as bold as it might seem, some very good judges think we have been conservative in our positioning.
Which illustrates just how much fun the only nine-hole in our Continental Top 100 is.
Gaining access to the uber-exclusive Morfontaine club is not straightforward; just make sure that if you do, you also set aside sufficient time for at least one circuit of the Valliere into your day. Chris Bertram
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