Club historyOver a century of golf
Morfontaine Golf Club was founded on 15 October 1913 by Armand de Gramont, 12th Duc de Guiche.
Armand, then aged 34, received permission from his father to create a 9-hole golf course for the enjoyment of his friends on an old polo ground on the family’s Vallière park estate. To design the course he commissioned Tom Simpson, one of the world’s leading golf architects whose love of natural landscapes and aesthetic flair he admired. Tom Simpson won rapid international esteem for his pioneering work as a golf architect, designing or modifying superb courses including Muirfield, Ballybunion, Cruden Bay and New Zealand Golf Club.
The birth of one of the best courses in Europe
After the First World War Armand de Gramont opened the course to members outside his family and personal friends.
He established the Golf Club Association that exists today with the financial backing of Edward Esmond, Armand Benedic, Réné Thion de La Chaume and Edouard de Rothschild.
To add to the original Vallière course, Armand again turned to Tom Simpson to design the 18-hole layout known as the Grand Parcours, inaugurated on 9 October 1927 by Simone Thion de la Chaume, the British Ladies Amateur Champion.
A sporting tradition, an exceptional course
Morfontaine is regularly ranked among the 50 best courses in the world. In 2020 the American magazine Golf Digest, the authority on course rankings, placed it 7th among the world’s top 100 courses outside the US, just after the Saint Andrews Old Course. By America’s Golf Magazine it was ranked 41st among the 100 best courses in the entire world.
The first member of Morfontaine to become champion of France was Pierre Maneuvrier in 1927. By 1930 the club had 350 members of several nationalities. In 1931 the club team of Jacques de Saint Sauveur, Charles de Gramont and Jean Weinbach won the first French interclub championship, the Gounouilhou Cup.
Morfontaine members who excelled as champions of France in the postwar years included Lally de Saint Sauveur (who also won the British Ladies Open in 1950), Philippe Boulart, Marcel Philippon (the club professional), Odile Semelaigne and more recently François Illouz.
On the death of Armand de Gramont in August 1962 his son Henri de Gramont became club chairman, succeded in turn by Philippe Clément, Gérard Boulot, Michel Ecot, Anne-Marie de Chalambert, William Desazars, Edouard de Pourtalès and currently Jean-Baptiste Corre.
In 1987 the members of Morfontaine assumed ownership of the club through the purchase of shares, of which 450 were made available.
After that, from 2005 to 2016, the American golf architect Kyle Phillips oversaw the modernisation of the Grand Parcours while retaining the unique natural character created by Tom Simpson.
The CoursesThe Grand Parcours and Vallière extend over roughly 150 acres of Morfontaine’s overall domain of 340 acres.
Tom Simpson, in the words of club founder Armand de Gramont, was 'as much a landscape artist as a sportsman and had very original ideas for golf course design. He used the irregularities of the terrain to make the game fun and varied, yet managed to ensure that obstacles required by the game were not obvious to casual walkers, so that the course was more like an English park than a sports ground.'
Le Grand Parcours
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Golf de Morfontaine
60128 Mortefontaine, France
+ 33 344 546 827