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Cliff Top Drives, Tree-lined Fairways and Cleverly Protected Greens Await You on the Fabulous Course of France

There are few better ways to relax on holiday, than to take advantage of the time available to play a few rounds, immersed in the stunning French countryside. France offers some of the finest golfing locations in the world. It is possible to tee off among rolling vineyards, in the shadow of the Alps, or basking in the glorious sunshine of the French Riviera.

Golf in France

France offers a wide variety of courses. There are those such as the magnificent course at Fontainebleau, or the impressive layout at Guyancourt, which surround some of the most spectacular chateaux in the world. You can spend the morning immersed in some of the finest displays of renaissance architecture in France, and in the afternoon wander among ancient trees, as you play the fairways which surround these great houses.

There are superb cliff top courses too, which offer challenging drives across the cliffs to rival those at Pebble Beach. Particularly worthy of mention is the 16h at Sperone, which was ranked among the finest holes in the world in a recent article by the Daily Telegraph.

No matter where you holiday in France, you are rarely far from an internationally acclaimed course.  France can count among its number, courses laid out by design geniuses Tom Simpson and Harry S Colt, and those whose names are synonymous with the sport of golf including Peter Alliss and Seve Ballesteros.

Since the construction of the channel tunnel, travelling to France couldn’t be easier.  With London to Paris taking just over two hours, it’s not long before Britain’s nearest neighbour is reached.  With France offering fabulous golf by day, and superb entertainment, fantastic cuisine and fine wines by night, it is unsurprising that more and more British golfers are spending their weekends across the channel.

Golf Courses of France

Many agree that French golf courses are among the finest in the world. Here are just a few of the very best ...

Chantilly

The fabulous course at Chantilly lies approximately 30 miles north of Paris. It has hosted the French Open on numerous occasions, and can count Nick Faldo among those who have won the title there.

The course was created by Englishman Tom Simpson, who implemented a great number of penal bunkers in his design. Measuring 6,396 metres, the course is a testing one, not least because of the dense trees which line the fairways. A fabulous clubhouse, which echoes the one in Sunningdale, Berkshire, makes the British visitor feel at home from the moment they arrive.

Etretat

The stunning course at Etretat, on the Upper Normandy coast, perches on the cliff tops between Le Harve and Fecamp.

The spectacular views from the Etretat course make playing here a pleasure, however, when the wind blows, even the most able of players will find the course a true test of their ability. Measuring 6,073m the course is relatively compact, yet still provides a fabulous days entertainment for all concerned.

Fontainebleu

The historic course at Fontainebleau has stood on this site for over 100 years. Surrounded by beautiful French forest, this beautiful course is also circled by an ancient walled boundary.

The small greens are well guarded, and though there is little rough, this is more than made up for by the density of the trees which line the fairways.

A relatively short course at 6,074 yards, the course’s challenge comes not from driving ability, but the strength of your short game.

Golf National (L’Albatros)

At Guyancourt, surrounding the Chateau of Versailles, you will find the Golf National.  Set to play host to the Ryder Cup in 2018, and host of the French Open for the last decade, Golf National is the pre-eminent course in France.

Measuring over 7,000 yards, the course has a reputation for being one of the toughest golfing tests in the Paris area. With large bunkers, plenty of water hazards, and stunning banks and turns, it is certain to offer plenty of challenges to even the most proficient of golfers.

La Baule

La Baule is one of the most visited seaside resorts in all of France. There is a wealth of activities available in the town, numerous fabulous restaurants, and unsurprisingly in a town synonymous with rest and relaxation, an outstanding golf club.

The golf club has three different courses, each with their own particular quirks and nuances.

The Lucien Barriere course has several water hazards which can make finding the greens both challenging and rewarding. Designed by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas, the Lucien Barriere course measures almost 7,000 yards, and is set in beautiful parkland.

The Diane Barriere course has a mixture of wide open fairways, and those which skirt the edge of the picturesque five acre lake. Slightly longer than the Lucien Barriere course, the closing holes provide a fabulous climax to the round.

The Francois Andre course is a 9 hole links course which those with a higher handicap will appreciate, while still presenting a challenge to the more accomplished golfer. The course is reputedly much easier than its counterparts.

Le Touquet

It is impossible to discuss French Golf Courses without mentioning the fabulous layout at Le Touquet.  Set on the Cote d’Opale in Northern France, Le Touquet has two British designed courses, La Mer and La Foret.

La Foret is a peaceful course suitable for golfers of all abilities, measuring 5,800m. La Foret is at the shorter end for length, but the course still has challenging holes such as the par 4, 13th, which measures 421m.

La Mer is the jewel in Le Touquet’s crown. Designed by Harry S Colt, the course is considered to be one of his finest achievements, and the course is generally acknowledged as the finest links course in France.  La Mer measures 6,407m and has hosted 6 French Opens, the last of which was in 1977, when the late, great Seve Ballesteros won the title.

Les Bordes

Golf may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you envisage the spectacular Loire Valley, with its acres of rolling vineyards and stunning chateaux. Play a round at Les Bordes, however, and it is certain to be one of the highlights of your holiday.

To say the course is challenging may be an understatement, the current course record stands at just one under par (71), and is held by Frenchman, Jean Van de Velde.  Measuring 7,062m, the course is notorious for the water features, which come into play on no less than 12 holes, and island greens will delight and frustrate you during your day.

Pont Royal

Pont Royal is the only golf course in France designed by Seve Ballesteros. If that alone isn’t enough to encourage you to visit, the courses location, nestling in the foothills of the Alps in Provence, most certainly will.

Of particular note are the 462 yard, par 4, 7th, which sweeps down and back up again, on a rollercoaster fairway, and the 205 yard par 3, 11th, with its tee shot from an elevated tee, across a wooded gorge, to a green perched on top of a rocky outcrop.

Measuring 5,778m, and with stunning scenery all around, the course is one of the finest in Provence.

Sperone

The island of Corsica is noted for its fabulous climate, beautiful scenery and stunning beaches. Golfers adore visiting the island as it provides the perfect environment for a golfing break, both on and off the tee.

With views across the sea, stretching as far as the Sardinia Mountains, there are few better environments in which to play golf.  The undulating course measures 6,106m and it is highly recommended that you use a buggy during your round, as the rise and falls of the ground can be a greater test of your stamina than the golf itself.

Wherever you choose to play in France you can be assured of a warm welcome, fine golf and superb surroundings. There can be few better places to practice your swing.

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