Where to golf in France ?
Where to golf in France
Golfing in France is an open invitation to discover the richness of the country: golf courses in the mountains, on the seaside, or at the heart of the French vineyards. Did you know that the oldest golf course in continental Europe is located in Pau? There are over 500 golf in France, each with its own unique characteristics, based on its environment and its history. Whether its a short golfing break, or a long vacation, there is sure to be a golf course in France that suits your desires. And if you don’t want to golf during all the day you will have a lot to discover or visit.
In Ile-de-France near Paris and the northwest part of France (Normandy, Brittany…), the courses are for the most part located very close to remarkable tourist destinations like the Château de Versailles, Mont St. Michel, Normandy or the beautiful Loire Valley châteaux.
After the visit of the Château de Versailles, you can play at Le Golf National. The course is in the top 10 French golf courses and the club will host the Ryder Cup in September 2018.
If you prefer seaside golf courses and the countryside, Normandy is a really good destination to golf in France. Less than two hours from Paris and direct flights from UK to Deauville or Caen, it’s really easy to come in Normandy. From the bay of the Mont-Saint-Michel to the Alabaster coast, from Perche to the Seine valley, from the Cherbourg peninsula to the Pays d’Auge, there are more than 40 courses to challenge you. Pure Scottish style links, inland courses following the natural contours in the heart of hills or forests, greens and fairways overlooking the sea. It’s really hard to present all the golf courses in Normandy but our team really likes the Golf Club d’Etretat who is set along chalk cliffs near Le Havre. The club provides some superb holes dangerously close to the cliffs edge. When the wind is up Etretat is a stern challenge, and with beautiful views over the English Channel, this course is an absolute cracker. Our second choice will be Golf Club d’Omaha Beach. The club offers 36 beautiful holes overlooking one of the famous D-day beaches. The La Mer and Le Bocage are considered to be more prominent loops of 9 – La Mer the more scenic and Le Bocage the more difficult. Enjoy three exceptional closing holes and the signature 6th, a stunning hole which overlooks the English Channel.
In the southwest of France, golf, culture, wine and cuisine blend into a spectacular experience in the countryside of Limousin or the vineyards of Aquitaine.
If you fancy heading further south there are some wonderful golfing challenges. Pick of the bunch, and one of Europe’s best, is Seignosse – closely followed by Makila; both are near the Spanish border. Further north the forest course at Lacanau is a delight as are the 36 holes at Golf du Médoc. Nearer to Poitiers, Haut Poitou and Manoir du Beauvoir are both high quality tracks..
Whether you like sun or snow, the South East of France offers unbeatable variety: Mont Blanc, the French Riviera, Auvergne, Provence or Corsica.
The French Riviera is the ideal destination for golfers and athletes who like to have the Mediterranean as their backdrop. From the Riviera’s main cities, Mandelieu-la-Napoule, Cannes, Nice or Monaco, make your way to one of 21 golf courses. Just ten minutes from Cannes, discover the calm and peaceful setting of the Royal Mougins Golf Club and its 18-hole course. The mountain, at the heart of the Mercantour Massif, will introduce you to the joys of golfing at high altitude. And if you want to discover the city of the painter Cézanne, you will have around Aix-en-Provence some nice golf courses like golf d’Aix Marseille or Sainte Victoire golf club.
Less than 1 hour drive from de French Riviera, you will discover the Provence. With greens and fairways from the sea to the Alps, find yourself in a series of unexpected landscapes. More than 50 golfing installations are spread out over the territory, some built by renowned architects, giving players an extremely diverse selection to choose from. As for your “après-golf” session, Provence has it all: wine and gastronomy, emblems of the region’s legendary art de vivre, along with heritage sites, traditions, festivals… Provence is a land of light and celebration, a region to savour, golf, and live. At the naturally beautiful and preserved Saint Endréol Golf near Cannes and Saint-Tropez, play the 18-hole course designed by Michel Gayon.
And of course, between the Champagne and the cathedrals, the northeast of France has a charm and heritage all its own.
Champagne’s major focal points are the towns of Troyes and Reims, where you can wander the elegant avenues and boulevards and discover the historic architecture, but the region is most famous for its wine. Genuine champagne must be produced from grapes grown with the region’s geographical borders, so sampling the local produce is absolutely essential. Heading East towards the German border, the historic Alsace and Lorraine areas are much less developed, and while the pace is slower, there is still much to see.
The vibrant city of Strasbourg is the most populous settlement, while the region of Alsace boasts the highest density of Michelin-starred restaurants in France, ably supported by the fascinating Alsatian wines. If the tourist attractions of the region are not enough, then consider the fine selection of courses like Le Kempferhof, L’Ailette and La Foret D’Orient, which are the courses to play during your golf escape to this fascinating part of France.
In you want to golf in this region, the better moments are Spring and Summer. Kempferhof and Soufflenheim are our favorites. But the region has much more golf courses. And don’t forget that you’re close from Belgium and Germany.
To finish some details about seasons and rules to play golf in France.
Most golf in France are open throughout the year although some close during the winter due to ground conditions (snow on mountain courses and boggy conditions on many inland courses). Some close in the mid-winter off-season for a month or so to allow for course work and recovery of greens and fairways. Most golfs in France have white and yellow tees for men and blue and red for ladies. There are not normally restrictions as to which tee should be played off; in general better players will opt for the whites (men) or blue (ladies). Some courses have black tees which are generally only used for elite amateur or professional competitions. The French golf federation is affiliated with the Royal & Ancient Golf Club so the rules are the same as in other European countries with familiar colors for boundaries.