Ultimate France

With its diverse terrain and favorable climate, France offers some of the best golf in continental Europe. The host of the 2018 Ryder Cup boasts more than 500 courses across varying landscapes.

 

Enjoy luxurious châteaux of the Loire Valley and stunning seaside views of the Mediterranean. Experience French culture in the City of Light and charming Bordeaux while playing golf among the vineyards along the Mediterranean and the historical Normandy coast.

 

FRANCE GOLF COURSES

 

2. Chantilly (Vineuil)
3. Paris International
4. Saint Germain
5. Saint Nom-la-Bretèche
6. National (Albatros)
7. Courson
8. Fontainebleau
9. Les Aisses
10. Les Bordes
11. Médoc (Châteaux, Vignes)
12. Saint Emilion
13. Moliets
14. Seignosse

15. Chiberta 
16. Pont Royal
17. Barbaroux
18. Frégate
19. Prince de Provence (Vidauban)
20. Terre Blanche (Le Château and Riou)
21. Royal Mougins (Cannes)
22. Taulane
23. Étretat
24. Champ de Bataille
25. Hardelot (Les Pins)
26. Le Touquet
27. Belle Dune

FRANCE GOLF COURSES

PARIS REGION

2. Chantilly (Vineuil)
Chantilly’s famed course, Vineuil, was also designed by Tom Simpson in 1909. It has since hosted numerous French Opens, inviting the best of the best in golf to play its beautiful course, set in the forest of the Ile de France. 

3. Paris International
To the north of the City of Lights, one will find legendary architect Jack Nicklaus’s only signature course in France. The championship course was named #6 on France’s Best Courses and winds through trees and water hazards on the edge of the Montmorency Forest, where two loops of nine begin and end near the luxurious clubhouse.

4. Saint Germain
Saint Germain’s 18-hole course was designed in 1922 by Harry Colt and has hosted the French Open nine times. The relatively flat course meanders through the forest of St. Germain but it is by no means an easy course: the strategically-placed bunkers and trees that line the fairways force golfers to think before teeing off. It was ranked the 5th best course in France by Golf Digest.

5. Saint Nom-la-Bretèche
Fred Hawtree laid out the Red and Blue Courses at Saint Nom-la-Bretèche in the late 1950’s in the prestigious landscape between Marly-le-Roi and Versailles. The club served as the Trophée Lancôme’s venue many times and has hosted the French Open twice. Deep bunkers and a lake that separates the Red’s 9th and 18th greens pose a challenge to even sport’s best players.

6. National (Albatros)
Host of the French Open since the event’s inception in 1991 (except in 1999 and 2001), the Albatros course at National is considered one of the best championship courses in Europe. Designed by Hubert Chesneau in 1990, the course combines a traditional feel with modern features, and golfers will need to use every club in their bag. The renowned course will continue to be a world spotlight, as it will host the 2018 Ryder Cup.

7. Courson
Courson’s golf courses were designed by Robert Von Hagge in 1991. The Green and Black course is considered to have the best layout, and features long fairways and an American-style layout. The club hosts the qualifying round of the French Open each year and is nicknamed the “small Golf National” for its similar masterful design.

8. Fontainebleau
Fontainebleau comes in at #4 in Golf Digest’s rankings for the best clubs in France. The course—one of the oldest in the country—was originally designed by Tom Simpson in 1909 and was modified by Fred Hawtree in the 1950s; however, the course retains many of its traditional features such as narrow fairways and soft grounds, making it playable under nearly any weather condition. It stands at #17 in the Golf World Top 50 Continental Golf Courses.

 

​LOIRE VALLEY REGION


9. Les Aisses
A well-maintained club located in the heart of the Sologne forest, Les Aisses is newer to the French golf scene, but quickly on the rise. Olivier Brizon’s original design in 1992 was modern and eccentric but underwent changes under Martin Hawtree in 2010. The course is now reminiscent of the old heathland courses of the UK with large bunkers and widened corridors, and is a growing favorite among golfers. 

10. Les Bordes
Situated in the Loire Valley, Les Bordes is one of France’s most highly acclaimed courses and ranks #3 in Golf Digest’s Best Courses in France. Designed by the legendary Robert von Hagge, its Old and New courses are at the top of Continental Europe’s best golf courses, and Golf World Magazine reported that Les Bordes should be in anyone’s top five courses in the world. Surrounded by vineyards and châteaux, Les Bordes is just as beautiful as it is challenging.

 

​BORDEAUX REGION


11. Médoc (Châteaux, Vignes)
Médoc features two noteworthy courses: Châteaux and Vignes. Bill Coore designed Châteaux in 1989, which was voted the 15th Best Golf Course in Continental Europe by Golf World Magazine in 2016. Two years later, Rod Whitman designed the Vignes course to accommodate the natural landscape, which ranked #52 in Best Golf Course in Continental Europe.

12. Saint Emilion
Coming in at #7 of Golf Digest’s Top 10 Courses in France, Saint Emilion is a 5-star golf course crafted by Tom Doak. The course is impeccably designed to accommodate the natural landscape, with no artificial adjustments. Saint Emilion offers a minimalistic layout overlooking vineyards and is a short distance from the UNESCO World Heritage site of the town of Saint Emilion.

 

NORMANDY REGION
 
23. Étretat
Étretat is located among the chalk cliffs of northwestern France, with holes along the coast that look out to the English Channel. Julien Chantepie and Arnaud Massy designed the course’s initial layout in 1908, which only had thirteen holes. After WWII, the club reopened for play and was further renovated in the early 90s by Didier Fruchet—including the addition of five more holes to create a full 18-hole course.

24. Champ de Bataille
Designed in 1990 by Robin Nelson and Jean-Manuel Rossi, Champ de Bataille is an impressive championship course set in a natural and historical location. The course takes advantage of its parkland and incorporates the valleys, lakes, and trees that are part of the natural landscape. The course is hilly in places and by no means an easy game, but its beautiful setting and good condition make it a desirable golf destination in France.

25. Hardelot (Les Pins)
Les Pins at Hardelot was designed by Tom Simpson in the early 1930s and while it is no longer on the professional golf circuit, the course is still worth testing one’s skills. The area’s climate is a benefit to the course as mild weather makes the course playable year-round. Les Pins was recently renovated by Frank Pont and Patrice Boissonnas; it now plays to a par of 71 and features widened fairways and enlarged greens.

26. Le Touquet
Le Touquet consists of two 18-hole courses: Le Mer and La Forêt. La Forêt was opened in 1904, designed by Horace Hutchinson, and is a milder course, sheltered from the wind in the pine forest of Le Touquet. Le Mer is the club’s newer course, designed in 1931 by Harry Colt, and typically more sought-after—and challenging—than its sister course. It is reminiscent of a British links course and has hosted the French Open numerous times. Le Mer was redesigned in 2015 and now features new bunkers, tees, and a bridge linking the tee and green on the 10th, renewing its championship standard.

27. Belle Dune
This young course—opened in 1992 and designed by Jean-Manuel Rossi—takes players through a varied terrain, with holes nestled among pine trees and then onto the sand dunes. The quick greens are unpredictable and require players to be careful at each hole. It’s a compelling course for both amateur and professional golfers alike.

BIARRITZ REGION
 
13. Moliets
Moliets enjoys its beautiful location of southwest France on the Atlantic coast, and designer Robert Trent Jones took advantage of this with the creation of the course in the late 1980s. Most of the 18 holes are set among the woodland’s pine trees, while the later holes offer stunning coastal views. Moliets is a regular Challenge Tour venue and is used as a winter training center for the French Golf Federation.

14. Seignosse
Featuring narrow fairways and natural obstacles, Seignosse is not for the faint-hearted. Designed by Robert von Hagge in 1989, the championship course poses a challenge for all levels of golfers and is noted as one of the most beautiful—and most difficult—courses in France.

15. Chiberta

Having nearly disappeared in the 1970s, Chiberta has made an exceptional comeback as a charming mix of links and tree-lined holes. Its 18-hole championship course, designed by Tom Simpson in 1926, offers stunning views of the French Atlantic coastline and varied golf terrain, from pines to dunes to beach.

 

PROVENCE REGION
 
16. Pont Royal
Pont Royal is unique in that it is the only golf course in France designed by Seve Ballesteros. The club opened in 1992 and has maintained its popularity among golfers since; its hilly terrain, unpredictable fairways and distant greens require players to think through every shot.

17. Barbaroux
Known for its variety of holes, Barbaroux is anything but boring. In 1989, the father-son duo Pete and Paul Burke Dye designed the entertaining course near the beautiful French Riviera. Links-like holes, U.S.-style holes and blind shots are intermixed throughout the championship course but it maintains a strong golf game despite its many styles. Contoured fairways, nearby water and deep bunkers offer a new experience in every round.

18. Frégate
Frégate is arguably one of the most beautiful courses in Europe, with incredible views over the Mediterranean and set among vineyards and olive trees. Ronald Fream designed the gentle championship course with lightly bunkered greens, creating a memorable course in a stunning location.

19. Prince de Provence (Vidauban)
The Vidauban course at Prince de Provence ranks 8th among France’s Top 10 Golf Courses, according to Golf Digest. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Junior and Senior in the early 90s, the club is extremely private and few get the chance to play the exclusive, lush course, which recently underwent renovations.

20. Terre Blanche (Le Château and Riou)
Terre Blanche’s Château comes in at #6 on Golf Digest’s Top 10 Golf Courses in France. Dave Thomas designed both courses in 2000, but Le Château steals the spotlight. Water features, elevated tees and slick greens are highlights to Le Château; however, its sister course, Riou—a bit hillier and slightly shorter—should not be overlooked.

21. Royal Mougins (Cannes)
The Cannes course at Royal Mougins was designed by Robert von Hagge in 1993 and was renovated in the late 1970s by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas, then again in 2015 by Tom MacKenzie. The long, wide fairways, large greens and a threatening pond are highlights to the Cannes course, which was the venue for the Cannes Open in 1980 and 2001.

22. Taulane
Gary Player designed this championship course at Taulane in 1992 among a forest of pine trees. The course is scattered with lakes and appropriate for golfers of all levels. The diversity of holes among nearly 6,300 meters of course offers a memorable experience for golfers.

1.800.824.6538   |   +1.203.363.0970   |   info@irish-links.com

 

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