We join the road from a small river-side track and are hit with the most unexpected view.  A former chateau in 16th century France, this fairytale castle, Chateau de Chailly, is now an exclusive hotel for golf enthusiasts, among manicured greens, freshly-swept bunkers and immaculately-groomed hedges.

We sit on a bench of the side of rue Caillot Charrière, savouring our baguette and cheese, drinking in the Disney scene. While our knees slowly stiffen after cycling close on 10 miles, we watch in comfortable silence as a golfing party of three vibrantly-dressed men arrive at their next hole.  Directly in front of us although 100 metres away, we have a good view, and on the breeze we hear them debating at length their next shot.  Decisions made, one player lines up for his shot.  Another of the group silently watches his opponent, taking a combative stance at a respectful distance. The third player, gesturing to his waiting companion, ambles behind one of the hedges.  He looks left, then right, and confident of his privacy he pees against this hedge, completely unaware that although he is out of view of the other players behind this hedge, he is in front of us.  We have, without doubt, the best seat in the house.

His one-man show includes knee-bending, shaking, rummaging and much hitching up of zip and waistband. We hold our breath, our mouths open, our eyes unblinking, not wanting to shatter the irony or dignity of this man’s innocence. It requires much decency and strength of character to neither laugh nor applaud his performance, particularly after his finale – let’s just say he was checking his handicap. His nonchalant stroll back to his fellow players, swinging his number 7 medium (I said it was a good view) iron across his shoulder, starts me giggling. Should we leave now, risking him noticing our movement and putting two and two together, or sit stock still until they eventually continue on their way? We opt for the latter, difficult when weighing up his chances of making a birdie with that size iron. Personally I’d have gone with a wood.

Hotel Golf Chateau de Chailly



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