French golf holidays are more popular than ever thanks to the superb variety of courses that are available across the entire country. Each region has its own individual character and attractions to keep you occupied away from the golf courses and you will probably find yourself spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing where to go for your golf break! Here is a brief run through each of the regions, along with a selection of the finest golf courses in France.
Northern France and Normandy
Quite apart from the quality of the courses, a golf trip here offers one distinct advantage – location. It’s only a short hop across the Channel to the northern regions of France, and a golf holiday here will place you amidst some of the finest golf courses in the country. The region also offers up a great coastline, picturesque towns and ports and expansive forests and lively resorts to keep you entertained between rounds.
* La Touquet La Mer – This challenging course has hosted the French Open in the past and is kept in outstanding condition all year round.
* Golf Parc – Widely rated as one of the best golf courses in France, Golf Parc in Nantilly is a large, varied and exciting place for a round of golf.
Paris, Champagne and Alsace
Golf near Paris has the obvious advantage of being close to one of Europe’s most exciting capital cities, and there’s plenty of world-class golf (four courses in the World Top 100 to be precise and many good ones besides) to be had in the surrounding countryside. If your French golf holiday takes you further east to Champagne and Alsace, there are numerous Michelin-starred restaurants and (of course!) lots of Champagne and wine to keep you happy.
* Chantilly Vineuil – This course has hosted the French Open ten times, and is kept in perfect condition
* Chateau d’Augerville – This beautiful course is based around a 17th-Century chateau (also a four-star hotel) – a perfect place for lunch overlooking the 18th green.
* Le Kempferhof – Not many people know about Le Kempferhof, but it is a superbly designed course with a variety of challenges at each hole. Rated No.2 in France and among Europe’s finest.
The Loire, Burgundy and Central France
As well as being “littered” with famous and beautiful Chateaux, the Loire is also home to some of the best golf courses in France, including the joint no 1. course in Europe. The central region can be especially good if you are looking for a more relaxed golf holiday in France.
* Royan – Set in a pine forest and reckoned by experts to be one of the finest courses in the region, Royan presents a tough challenge in a beautiful location
* Les Bordes – This is regarded as being one of the two best courses in Europe, and features a tough array of holes in spectacular surroundings – it really is a must play!
* Limere Orleans – This course is great fun to play with numerous water hazards and impeccable presentation, and has hosted several French PGA Championships
If you are considering a golf holiday in France, the Alps may not immediately spring to mind, but amid the spectacular mountains and valleys are a number of superb golf courses.
* Golf Club de Lyon – This gorgeous course is a real treat to play on, combining some tricky holes with beautiful scenery.
* La Bresse – La Bresse is a highly enjoyable course, designed to be challenging but rewarding for intelligent players.
* Evian Masters Golf Course – The course hosts the world’s premier ladies tournament each year. A good layout and maintained impeccably.
Anyone who wants to go on a golf holiday to France will surely be tempted by the south. With over three hundred days of sunshine each year, world famous cuisine and superb beaches, there is plenty to draw you here. But it’s not all fine wine and sunbathing, as the region also features numerous superb golf courses designed by the lacks of Trent Jones, Gary Player, Pete Dye, Robert von Hagge and Peter Alliss. Biarritz in the south west has long been regarded as a golfer’s haven with five courses in Europe’s Top 100 and there are plenty of other courses in the area to keep even the most avid golfer occupied.
* Barbaroux – This is one of the toughest golf courses in France, with each hole presenting its own unique challenge. Well worth a visit for golfers who really want to push themselves.
* Seignosse – In the world Top 100, Seignosse is as pretty, intricate and devious a course as you are likely to play.
* Taulane – This course isn’t as tough as some of the others in the region but the great design by Gary Player makes for a very satisfying round of golf.
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