Best Golf Courses In France
The lush, rolling hills of France have long been a favorite destination for golf lovers. From the world-renowned courses of Paris to the hidden gems tucked away in small towns, there is something for every golfer to enjoy. But with so many courses to choose from, which ones stand out as the best? Here we’ve compiled our list of some of the finest golf in France – each one offering something unique and unforgettable.
Whether your tastes run to the French Riviera or the Pas-de-Calais region there is something for everyone. Modern courses overlooking the Normandy beaches, Florida-style target golf near the capital or more fashionable places to be seen like the south of France.
Uncovering The Finest French Golf Courses
France is home to some of the most beautiful and renowned golf courses in the world. From Le Touquet to Golf National, visitors can experience a variety of championship-level venues on their travels through this historic country. Here we’ll uncover a selection of top French golf courses that should be included on every golfer’s bucket list.
Exploring Paris Golf Clubs
Paris boasts some of the best golf courses in France. From taking a leisurely stroll on the green to challenging yourself on more difficult terrain, these’s exquisite clubs have something for everyone’s taste. Here are three noteworthy Parisian golf destinations:
- St Germain (Grand Parcours): a Colt design from 1920 although the club was originally founded in 1902! With trees and bunkers aplenty players must plot their way around this wonderful parkland golf course
- Le Golf National: This championship course has hosted many international tournaments including The Ryder Cup 2018 and 2019 Open de France. With its water hazards, bunkers, and long fairways, it’s sure to challenge even the most seasoned golfer.
- Vineuil Course at Golf de Chantilly: This picturesque 18-hole parkland design is a great test of both length and accuracy.
These revered clubs offer visitors not only enjoyable rounds but also breathtaking scenery and luxury amenities like restaurants, bars and spas. Whether you’re looking for a simple nine holes or an intense eighteen-hole experience, there’s something for all levels of golfers when exploring Paris’ finest courses.
Golf de Morfontaine is a place of grandeur, stretching back to October 1913 when the Duke of Guiche made his own mark upon it by transforming an old polo pitch into a 6-hole course for his friends’ pleasure. English architect Tom Simpson was commissioned to re-design the original 9-hole Vallière course.
James Braid teed off with French champions Jean Gassiat and Arnaud Massy at its opening ceremony. Simpson was brought back to create a new 18-hole layout (now dubbed Le Grand Parcours) which opened in 1927.
Recent changes have been made by Kyle Phillips to holes 10 and 12. Further modifications were made to holes 6 and 14, adding length to keep the challenge as strong as when Tom Simpson created it. Measuring 6,001 meters, par 70, Morfontaine may not be long by modern standards but what it lacks in length it makes up for with strategic approaches and well-defended, undulating greens.
It is not accessible to visitors unless they are accompanying a club member so unfortunately the majority of us aren’t going to get to play this wonderful track.
Le Touquet La Mer Course
Le Touquet’s Golf Resort is a wonderful place to base yourself for a golf holiday in northern France. Its La Mer Course was designed by H.S.Colt and C.H. Allison and opened for play in 1931. Arguably the best true links course in the country it is located on the coast between Le Touquet and Berck, it offers stunning ocean views as it weaves between the dunes and is a challenging course for all golfers.
Running to 7000 yards the course has been host to the French Open on six occasions including a win by Seve Ballesteros. I have had the privilege of playing both La Mer and La Foret and found both courses to be an enjoyable test of golf at a wonderful resort.
Le Golf National (Albatros)
To the west of Paris lies Golf National, a place where Florida meets Ireland and France. The course was built in 1990 by Hubert Chesneau and von Hagge Design Associates, making it the first TPC course in France.
Golf National has hosted some remarkable events over the years; perhaps most notably the 2018 Ryder Cup, where Francesco Molinari won the winning point for Europe against Phil Mickelson. Sergio Garcia also surpassed Nick Faldo as Europe’s record points scorer in this tournament.
The Open de France dates back to 1906, but it wasn’t until 1991 that the tournament began taking place at Golf National. Argentina’s Eduardo Romero took home the title that year, and the event returned in 2008 with Spanish rookie Pablo Larrazabal emerging victorious.
At 7,000 yards long, this is a tough golf test, particularly with the amount of water! But don’t be fooled – despite its clay base and water features, the course offers up a unique combination of links and Floridian styles. So if you’re looking for freedom on the greens, look no further than Golf National.
Golf de Fontainebleau – A Historic Course With Modern Amenities
Next on our list of the best golf courses in France is Fontainebleau. Located south of Paris just outside of the small town of Barbizon, this course has been a mainstay for over 100 years and remains one of the country’s finest.
Another course with the hand of Tom Simpson behind it. He reworked the original design by Julien Chatenpie 10 years after it opened in 1909. Fred Hawtree then made some changes in the 1960s although much of what you see is still the original Simpson layout.
Laid out on well-draining sandy soil the course winds through tree-lined avenues and is reminiscent of an English heathland course.
Golf de Seignosse
Located just a few miles inland, this wonderful course carves through woodland with plenty of doglegs to test your game.
Routed by Robert von Hagge in 1989, the course features plenty of water and sand to test your accuracy plus a par-6 to finish the round!
Les Bordes – A Remarkable 18-Hole Course
Les Bordes is one of the most renowned golf courses in continental Europe. This 18-hole track offers an unforgettable experience for those lucky enough to walk its perfectly manicured fairways, as each shot demands precision against the backdrop of stunning natural surroundings. Its challenging design makes Les Bordes a favorite among professional players and amateurs alike, providing a truly unique game of golf. The brainchild of Baron Bich (yes the guy behind Bic pens!)
Nestled in the Loire valley it is a stern test despite being only 7000 yards long with the current course record of one under being held by John van de Velde. Unfortunately, this is another course that you are unlikely to be able to sample as it is limited to members and their guests.
Golf du Medoc (Le Chateaux)
Golf du Médoc is nestled north of the world’s wine capital, Bordeaux amongst the vineyards. It seemed fitting that its premier course, Les Châteaux, opened in 1989 and was Bill Coore’s only European project at the time. Each hole is named after a Médoc vintage! This inland links-style layout, which was co-designed by Rod Whitman, stretches just shy of 6,600 meters, though with only three par fives (the 2nd, 10th, and 14th).
When the Atlantic wind blows westerly, you could almost mistake this for a seaside course.
With heather, gorse, and broom ready to catch errant shots, the challenge here will be unlike any other. As the old adage goes, “A bad day golfing still beats a good day working.” So come out to Médoc and test your skill against the best!
Le Château At Terre Blanche Golf Club
Le Château at Terre Blanche Golf Club sits on almost 300 hectares of Provence countryside near Cannes. Home to two eighteen-hole golf courses, Le Riou is the other. The resort has regularly featured in the top-3 of Europe’s best golf resorts for the last few years. Dave Thomas has fashioned a wonderful course across the hilly terrain.
With green fees of between €152-€190 ($164-$205) you’re going to need some pretty deep pockets although if you’re holidaying near Cannes you can probably afford it!
Hardelot Les Pins
One of two courses at the Hardelot golf resort in northern France, Les Pins winds its way through pine forest. It’s one of the country’s finest courses, and the third in this list to come from Tom Simpson. From the lush greens to the water hazards leading up to it that make for an unforgettable experience. Recently restored by Frank Pont to its former Simpson-era glory this is very reminiscent of English heathland courses with its free-draining sandy soil. Regularly features in the top 100 golf courses in Europe.
Best Golf Courses In France: Conclusion
At the end of the day, it’s clear why France is considered one of the best golf destinations in the world. There are a wide variety of golf courses to suit all budgets and the courses are usually not too busy.
Ultimately, if golfing is your passion then France should be right at the top of your list when planning out your next golf break. With so many amazing courses available, you will truly feel like you’ve been transported into another realm while taking in all that French culture has to offer!
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