Romain Wattel: My courses

13 February 2020
5 min. read
Ruben van der Zaag
Tour players have opinions too! About equipment, the weather and of course their game. But most of all, they have an opinion about golf courses. So in this series of interviews they will tell you all about the courses they love, the ones they hate, the ones they learned to play golf on and the ones they want to play the rest of their lives. In this episode we speak to Frenchman Romain Wattel.
KLM Open at The Dutch (photo credits, member Jeroen)
KLM Open at The Dutch (photo credits, member Jeroen)

We all cherish the courses that we’ve played well on. In 2017 you won your first European Tour tournament – the KLM Open – on The Dutch in The Netherlands. What do you think of that course?

Well, I won so obviously it’s a really nice course for me [laughs]! But honestly, I mean it: The Dutch is a really nice course. The maintenance is top notch and I think it’s a real championship course. Sometimes, you can play some really nice courses that are not meant for hosting a tournament, but here it’s the perfect place for that! Indeed, the holes are long, there is space for visitors, big grandstands, it’s ideal for the spectators!
The clubhouse of The Dutch (Photo credits, member timmichiels69)

What is your favorite golf course on the tour?

I like courses that are made to host tournaments like The Dutch, Le Golf National, Wentworth, Jumeirah Golf Estate, etc. These are courses made for hosting big tournaments, big shows! And their objectives are less focused on club courses.

On which course did you start playing?

I’ve started to play at Golf de Bussy -Guermantes, in the Paris region, because my parents moved from the South East of France when I was 4 or 5 years old. We were living on the golf course, so I was there all the time after school. This is how I began to train and enjoyed playing golf. I have so many good memories of this course, I grew up on it!

How many golf courses have you (roughly) played in your life?

Oh wow, let me think…It’s a lot for sure! I cannot give you a figure though: it’s been 9 years that I’m a pro and we play almost 30 different tournaments per year and in France I’ve played at least 100 courses…so I’d say definitely more than 300 courses total!

Which one is your favorite and why?

In France – if we don’t consider the tournaments -, there’s one course that I love: Golf de Fontainebleau. It’s such a beautiful golf course, it’s a shame it’s a bit far from where I live I don’t play it very often. With Morfontaine (North of Paris), these are my two favorite courses in France! Morfontaine is such a magical place as well. The stories you’ve heard are true, there is no one there. You have the course more or less to yourself and you only see some little sheep on the course, that is all!
Golf De Morfontaine (Photo credits, member JulienTizot)

Do you know any hidden gems, courses that people might not know yet?

It’s difficult to answer but I think I’ve played on a few hidden courses that you wouldn’t think about! Mainly in the British Islands. You’re likely to find a members course that doesn’t advertise much, sometimes it’s from the municipality and the course is amazing! I have to admit it is really different from what we have in France, because everyone, pro or amateur, knows about the nice courses in France! 

Over there in the Britain, you can find a course the locals rate average but for us it’s a beautiful course and very well maintained! I have one in mind, it’s North Berwick Golf Club, near Muirfield. For Scottish people, this course might be one among others. I think it’s been there for more than 150 years, it’s a superb links course. If we had this course in France, it would be one of the best courses in the country but for them, it’s just an average course!

You just mentioned Links courses, what is your favorite type of course (links, parkland, …)?

I really like links courses, but I have to say I also appreciate woodland courses and being surrounded by trees. A mix of both is ideal! I like courses such as Wentworth Golf Club, where you only play in the woods, it’s very narrow out there. But the game you have to produce for links courses, low ball flights and playing with the wind is also what I like in golf. These are two completely different types of playing but I like the variation!

Which is your favorite country or region to play golf in?

I prefer to play in Continental Europe because the weather is much nicer and it’s where all the main courses are. Then, I like to play in the US and England. Actually, there are beautiful courses everywhere in the world but I do enjoy playing in Britain, I think golfers there are very lucky with the courses…not the weather!

Where was your best golf shot ever?

I don’t have one amazing shot in mind but I do have one memory of a hole in one in Golf Club Crans sur Sierre, 4 or 5 years ago…I have to say it’s not the perfect shot but at least the result was perfect and it’s a good memory for me!

[insert video]

Romain Wattel

Special thanks to Romain for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with us. We hope this blog series gives you entertaining insights into the personalities and interests of professional golfers. We wish Romain continued success for the future!
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Ruben van der Zaag

Ruben van der Zaag

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