Best French Golf Courses

By Ryan Watson

While often overshadowed by the British courses on offer across the Channel, France is a golfing destination well worth your time. The following are the best courses in France.

Grand Saint Emilionnais Golf Club

172 Goffre, 33350 Gardegan-et-Tourtirac, France

The Grand Saint Emilionnais Golf Club is located in the South of France among Bordeaux’s wine region. The course was designed by Tom Doak among the rolling hills, stands of trees, and ruins of a 19th century manor and outbuildings. The course uses inventive routing as well as a natural creek and strategic bunkering to create a beautiful and challenging course some have compared to Augusta National.

Golf du Medoc’s Châteaux Course

Chemin de Courmateau Lieu Dit, 33290 Le Pian-Médoc, France

Staying in the Bordeaux region of France, Golf du Medoc features 2 courses nestled among the surrounding vineyards. The best known of the courses is the excellent Châteaux course designed by the team of Bill Coore and Rod Whitman. This course is best known for its strategic layout, which relies almost entirely on bunkering and routing to create an excellent challenge. Golfers should expect to use every club in their bag and to be forced into many high risk/high reward shots.

Golf de Seignosse

Avenue du Belvédère, 40510 Seignosse, France

Golf de Seignosse is routinely ranked among the top 50 European courses and offers a true championship caliber challenge. Course architect Robert von Hagge, a well known figure in French golf, designed and built the course 1989. This is not golf for the fainthearted: golfers should expect narrow fairways with numerous doglegs, water hazards, and undulating terrain. The beautiful scenery serves as a wonderful contrast to the difficult course.

Golf D’Hardelot’s Les Pins Course

3 Avenue du Golf, 62152 Neufchâtel-Hardelot, France

The historic Golf D’Hardelot was founded in 1905 in the northern seaside community of Pas de Calais. Its most famous course is Les Pins, “The Pines” in English, designed by Tom Simpson in 1931. The course has hosted European Tour events in the past, and it is known for its strategic layout. The course meanders through pine forests giving the whole experience a natural feel to it, and the club keeps the course in excellent conditions. Expect a challenge, but a fair one when tackling this one.

Golf de Belle Dune

Prom. du Marquenterre, 80120 Fort-Mahon-Plage, France

Western France’s Golf de Belle Dune opened in 1992 and as its name suggests, it is located among the dunes bordering the English Channel. The resulting links course, designed by Jean-Manuel Rossi, is considered one of the best outside of Great Britain. It incorporates some tree-lined holes which serves to separate the track from other links courses, and offers some beautiful views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. The course is not particularly long, but still provides a challenge to all skill levels.

Golf de Morfontaine’s Le Grand Parcours

60128 Mortefontaine, France

Located in central France near the capital city of Paris, Golf de Morfontaine began life as a Duke’s private course before forming his own private club. The club’s 18-hole course, named Le Grand Parcours, was finished by Tom Simpson in 1927. The course is very prestigious and only those with an invitation are able to play the course. Simpson designed a strategic golf masterpiece which especially focuses on the short game. If lucky enough to play this facility, be sure and also play the Simpson designed 9-hole short course, regarded as one of the world’s best short courses.

Les Bordes

Les Petits Rondis, 41220 Saint-Laurent-Nouan, France

Les Bordes began as a dream with Baron Marcel Bic (founder of Bic pens) and Japanese businessman (and maker of paper products) Yoshiaki Sakurai. Just like the meeting of pen and paper, this duo worked together to fund one of France’s great courses. To say this course is difficult is an understatement. Architect Robert von Hagge designed this course through woods and wetlands with ample bunkering and high risk/reward shots. The course record speaks for itself: 71, just 1 under par. Bring your A-game for this once in a lifetime course.

Golf de Chantilly’s Vineuil Course

Allée de la Ménagerie, 60500 Vineuil-Saint-Firmin, France

Located near the historic town of Chantilly, the Golf de Chantilly is considered one of Europe’s great golf clubs. The famous Vineuil Course was initially designed by Tom Simpson in the 1920s before the club decided to switch 3 holes with a 1980 Donald Steele design to create the current course. The course is a Simpson classic and features tough strategic bunkering on the gradually undulating ground, though many of the greens are noticeably larger than other Simpson courses.

Le Golf National’s L'Albatros Course

2 Avenue du Golf, 78280 Guyancourt, France

Host of the 2018 Ryder Cup, Le Golf National’s L’Albatros Course is easily France’s most recognizable course. The course is located conveniently near Paris. Course architect Robert von Hagge worked on this course with Hubert Chesneau to create a memorable experience. The course has hosted every Open de France, an event on the European Tour, since 1991 excepting just 2 years. Golfers lucky enough to play this course can expect impeccable grounds with fast, firm greens and narrow fairways. Water and well protected greens will ensure that you use every part of your short game if you want to conquer this French masterpiece.

About the Author

Ryan Watson is a freelance sportswriter and history professor. He has been an avid fan of golf since his father signed him up for golf camp as a young child. Ryan enjoys following the professional game and learning about new equipment and gadgets.