The golf courses of France offer an increasingly popular alternative to the more traditional golfing destinations of Spain and Portugal. With great courses that are rarely crowded, stunning scenery and of course unbeatable food and wine, it is easy to see why France is increasingly getting the nod from discerning golfers and as this guide to golf in France will show you that there is plenty of memorable golf on offer!
The most well known French golfing region for visiting players is the Pas de Calais, also knows as the Cote d’Opale, stretching from Dunkirk in the North along the coast southwards past the towns on Boulogne, Montreuil, Le Toquet and Hardelot all big names in French golf with some of the countries finest links courses at Belle Dunne and La Touquet La Mer. The course at Hardelot Pines and the parkland tests of St Omer and Arras are also not to be missed.
Further down the coast is the region of Normandy, centred on the historic town of Rouen and its magnificent medieval cathedral. Good golf courses can be found throughout the region with Deauville a particular highlight. Originally designed by Tom Simpson and Henry Cotton it is beautifully maintained with stunning views of the English Channel. The layout at Vaucouleurs Le Vallon is ranked in the countries top 20 and is an authentic links with dune lined fairways and pot bunkers to catch any wayward shots and more links golf can be found at the impressive Omaha Beach that now boasts 27 excellent holes.
In the North West corner of France is the region of Brittany, the land of the sea, the home of the fantastic golfing resort of La Baule that is home to 45 excellent holes there provide something for everybody. Les Ormes is set in stunning grounds near the 16th Century Chateau and is a challenging course whilst the 27 holes at Saint Malo Golf Club, that borders the Mesnil Forest, provide a special environment in which to play the game.
Le Golf National, France
Chantilly, the region centred around Paris, offers all the class and and style that have become associated with that City, and the golf on offer certainly matches those high expectations. The Chantilly Vineuil course is ranked in Europe’s top five and was designed by the great Tom Simpson. A heathland style course it is a classic test of golf and one that should definitely not be missed. The region is also home to the famous Le Golf Nationale that is home to the French Open and will host the 2018 Ryder Cup, with its dramatic nature perfectly encapsulated by the classic risk and reward of the famous 18th hole.
Three hours south from Calais is the famous Loire Valley home to some of France’s most stunning Chateaux, the beauty of which are matched by some of the magnificent golf the region has to offer. Les Bordes near Orleans is without doubt the countries best golf course which really does test the very best. With water on 14 holes and the course laid out amidst some magnificent forest it is a truly special golfing experience that should not be missed.
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In the South West of the country, bordering the Pyrenees is the region of Aquitaine. An area of great natural beauty that stretches from Bordeaux in the north down the coast to the glamour of Biarritz, it is home to some fantastic golf courses. In the north of the region is Medoc, famed for its wine but also offering a course that regularly features in Frances’s top ten golf courses. The Medoc Chateau course is a great layout that is links in style but actually runs through beautiful forest whilst the Vignes is a mixture of heathland and parkland golf. In the South is Seignosse, a must play course that offers a brilliant challenge to even the best players, with tight driving and numerous water hazards.