Tight fairways and plenty of water lie in wait for Ryder Cup challengers
Your 18-hole guide to Le Golf National
1 En Avant, Par 4, 419 yards
Expect players to use either a two iron or a three wood off the tee on the opening hole, where nerves will be jangling. A mid-to-short iron should carry them to the green where accuracy is required to find a putting surface close to water and surrounded by bunkers.
2 L’Apontage, Par 3, 210 yards
It is all about judgement at this par three, where players will need to assess the amount of water they have to carry to touch down on the green. A flag position on the far left is the most dangerous.
3 Le Merantais, Par 5, 558 yards
Covering distance and targeting the left side of the fairway with the tee shot are the keys to hole three. Approaching the green from that side ensures players avoid obstructions on the right. There is plenty to do if the pin position is tucked behind a tree.
4 Chateaufort, Par 4, 486 yards
Bunkers added along the fairway two years ago mean a solid straight drive from the tee shot is paramount at this par four. The green is large, elevated and sloping.
5 Plein Gaz, Par 4, 405 yards
A sprinkling of left-hand fairway bunkers and deeper ones in front of the green are the only notable challenges presented on a hole where birdies will be expected.
6 Mais Ou Colza, Par 4, 380 yards
The green at hole six is concealed by a bump and sits below the fairway, making it difficult for players to judge distance and the length of their approach.
7 Le Dromadaire, Par 4, 457 yards
The tee shot at hole seven is a challenging one due to the tall fescue covering the left side of the elevated fairway and a steep bank on the right, requiring a solid drive to gain good position.
8 Le Green Keeper, Par 3, 208 yards
After players have overcome the prominent wind associated with hole eight, they are met with a huge, undulating green guarded by a small and deep bunker.
9 Vent Debout, Par 5, 579 yards
The out-of-play water hazard on the left is no more than a distraction but hole nine is not without its difficulties. Against the wind, players are likely to require two shots to find a green enshrouded by bunkers.
10 La Mare Aux Foulques, Par 4, 375 yards
With the wind at their backs, this could be a driveable hole for the biggest hitters. Finding the fairway with a two or three-iron before pinpointing the green with a follow-up shot is the wiser option though, if players are looking for an achievable birdie.
11 Les Grenouilles, Par 3, 178 yards
Hole 11 underwent a series of changes two years ago, meaning players now have to tackle both an extended water hazard and two deep bunkers behind the green if they are to make par.
12 Le Goulet, Par 4, 433 yards
Extreme precision is required from the tee to set up a comfortable second shot at this par four. The fairway has a large bunker on the right and narrows increasingly so judging distance from the tee is crucial.
13 L'ile Aux Chenes, Par 4, 415 yards
Misjudging distance with the tee shot at the 13th leaves players with a tricky second. The dogleg right, reshaped in 2004, concludes with a green surrounded by oak trees.
14 Les Collines de Colin, Par 5, 544 yards
Striking into the wind and looking to avoid their shots being swallowed up an imposing bunker, players could take more than two shots to make the green on the last par five on the course.
15 Le Juge, Par 4, 408 yards
This par four can be deceiving. As players approach the clubhouse they must contend with a green surrounded by water and a choice of awkward pin positions.
16 L’Appel, Par 3, 177 yards
Despite being the shortest hole on the course,the 16th is far from straightforward. A modified, sloping green threatens to guide balls into the surrounding water, making for a challenging, downhill putt.
17 Le Verdict, Par 4, 480 yards
A par four absent of water hazards or sand traps sounds enticing but the penultimate hole combines a green running sharply from right to left with an uphill fairway.
18 La Foule, Par 4, 471 yards
Deemed the toughest at last year’s French Open, the course’s final hole demands an accurate tee shot to evade right-sided bunkers and water on the left. Even making par is a test.
Read Racing Post Sport every day for no-nonsense previews and expert sports betting tips
Follow us on Twitter @racingpostsport