Sports & Outdoors

Golfing in France

France has some magnificent golf courses to discover and travelling by car means you can transport your golfing gear safely.

There are few activities more relaxing than a day of golf in the glistening French sunshine. Casually making your way round 18 holes on a lush green course, before heading to the 19th for a spot of dinner and glass or two of the local wine.

Whatever your level of golf, whether you are a complete beginner or have a handicap of +6, there is a French golf course for you.

open golf course with surrounding greenery and blue sky

Planning your trip

With a certain amount of prestige surrounding most golf courses it is understandable that you can't just turn up and expect to walk straight into a game.

There are many clubs and courses which allow non-members to play, including all the ones listed in this guide, but often these clubs will also have regular member-only days. It is always best to ring ahead and book your round. With the more popular clubs try to do this as early as possible, particularly if planning a visit during the peak summer season.

Most courses have an attached hotel, although these can vary in quality, so it pays to do your research and shop around for accommodation.

Choosing a course

One of the joys of golfing in France is the pure variety, from the coast to the outskirts of Paris, wherever you visit you are guaranteed spectacular surroundings and more-often-than-not fabulous weather to accompany your game.

Fees are generally cheaper than in England and often courses are blissfully quiet, allowing you to relax and get round in your own time.

Below are a few of Eurotunnel Le Shuttle's picks for some of the top golf courses in France.

Person holding with hand golf club in a golf shop

What to pack

France has about 500 courses, with a huge variety of terrain and hole length, so you will probably want a nice full bag of clubs to be prepared for any situation (don't get too cocky and leave the sand wedge at home).

The majority of these courses are beautifully maintained; most clubs will expect you to have a similarly immaculate appearance.

When considering clothing you will want at least:

  • Smart trousers (not jeans)
  • A casual shirt to golf in (not T-shirt) for men or a top that covers the shoulders (not strapped) for women
  • Proper golf shoes
  • Evening wear for the club house (including a jacket and a tie for men)
  • Bermuda shorts in Summer (these are being accepted by an increasing number of golf clubs in recent years)

Don't just look the part – act it too; polite behaviour is expected at all times on the courses so remember to observe common niceties such as letting smaller or faster groups play through.

Golf courses in France

As well as the courses listed below, we also have a guide to the best golf courses in Northern France including Aa Golf de Saint Omer and Golf d’Hardelot. Read our guide to some of the best courses France has to offer.

Golf influencer Mark Crossfield took a trip to Golf d’Hardelot. Watch the video of his experience below.

Le Golf National

The Albatros course at Le Golf National is an 18-hole golf course in France, near Paris. Designed by architects Hubert Chesneau and Robert Von Hagge, it was created to host the French Open, the oldest national open in continental Europe, which it does every year.

Located in Guyancourt, southwest of central Paris the course is also close to Versailles if you have plans for exploring (between games of course). Le Golf National is described as a firm but fair course with new drainage and irrigation systems installed in 2016 as part of the ongoing, diligent upkeep of the course and for the hosting of the Ryder Cup that year.

Le Touquet (La Mer)

On the breath-taking Opal Coast of northern France, Le Touquet Golf Resort offers three courses all with a range of tee positions to suit players of any handicap. La Mer is France’s number one links-style golf course and has hosted the French Open six times. Created in 1931, it is quite challenging due to the strong winds.

La Forêt course is set in 1,000 hectares of beautiful pines, oaks, and poplars. Created in 1904, it is one of the oldest courses in France. The trees shelter you from the wind making it more suitable for new or less experienced players.

Le Manoir, created in 1910 is a short, fun course, but with plenty of challenges that will please players of all levels. Pros often use this course to practice, and it’s popular with tuition groups.

Golf de Chantilly

Open to non-members weekdays only, this resplendent club amidst woodland is about 30 miles north of Paris and has played host to the French Open several times since it was created in 1909.

With some unforgiving bunkers and dense forest lining many of its 36 holes, a round at Chantilly can prove an enjoyable challenge. The fact that the nearby Château was used in the 1985 James Bond film A View to a Kill as the billionaire villain's home gives an idea of the opulent feel of the area which spreads to the club.

White brick French castle with turrets on a body of water under a blue sky

Golf du Médoc

Only 16 km from the Atlantic Ocean and to the north of Bordeaux, Golf du Médoc Resort offers two 18-hole courses, Châteaux and Vignes. Each is made up of some beautiful pure heathland with quick draining sandy turf. The breeze off the Atlantic coast can make games challenging at times, but the trees that line the expansive fairways limit its full force.

Châteaux course has been voted Best Golf Course in France at least five times by the World Golf Awards. It’s a traditional links course, with heather bordered wide fairways. Vignes features long pars and plenty of diversity, making it a great challenge for the more experienced golfer.

The resort has spa facilities and an on-site restaurant with a gorgeous terrace looking across the courses. Training courses are available to book alongside your stay.

Golf de Belle Dune

This 18-hole course lies along the coastal dunes of north-eastern France, making it one of the most stunningly scenic in the country.

A gentle course, this is well suited for beginners, though strong coastal winds can often add an extra unpredictable challenge. The immaculate fairways are consistently voted some of the most beautiful in Europe and the fast greens offer the opportunity to brush up on your putting.

The accompanying restaurant has a lakeside terrace and is open to golfers and passing walkers, though it is advisable to book ahead. The club is open all week but be aware that prices go up at the weekends.

Golf de Chiberta

Commissioned in 1926 by the Duke of Windsor to create 'the most beautiful golf course in the world' architect Tom Simpson clearly took his brief seriously.

Tucked in the south-western corner of France, Golf de Chiberta is excellently maintained and enjoys good weather most of the year round. As a result, the course is particularly popular and must be booked well in advance.

There are two courses with a great variety in holes, starting with tree-lined fairways and moving on to links right up against the beach, with spectacular views of the Biarritz lighthouse. The accompanying club house in the Hotel de Chiberta has a bar and restaurant offering local specialities.

Beach and coastline in Brittany France with buildings on a hill by the water surrounded by trees

Golf de Orléans Limère

A great course for all levels of player, Golf de Orléans Limère will test every aspect of your game. The course may seem short but don't be fooled into thinking it is simple; there is a reason national championships are played here every year.

Set in the forest of Sologne and featuring a generous scattering of water hazards players must concentrate on both line and length to avoid potential penalties waiting for them on every hole.

Golf de Morfontaine

Located in north-eastern France, Golf de Morfontaine is a pretty golf course just over an hour’s drive north of Paris. It’s famous for regularly appearing on many Top 50 Golf Courses lists, known for its stunning natural beauty as it’s right next door to the Natural Regional Park Oise. It’s in our top three golf courses in Europe list, too.

The 27-hole course isn’t always the most difficult, but it’s great if you’re looking to improve your strategic approach. Originally a 9-hole course, known as Le Valière, these first holes are thrilling to play and let you experience the course’s history, having first opened in 1913.

Golf Pléneuf-Val-André

West of St-Malo, Pléneuf-Val-André is known as one of the prettiest golf courses in Brittany. You can enjoy sweeping sea views while you play, with the course nestled between the water and surrounding heathlands.

The wide fairways of this course stretch out for 6,052 metres, and its position by the sea means you’ll often be tackling strong Emerald Coast winds, providing a thrilling game. The golf club here features a practice zone, pitching and putting greens, as well as training bunkers for those who need to fine-tune their skills. For those wishing to explore the area during a stay, you are just under an hour’s drive from Dinard.

Panoramic view of a golf course with stretches of green and shaped sand banks

Les Aisses Golf

Les Aisses Golf sits just south of Orléans, in the Solonge region of France. With two courses, one 18-hole and one 9-hole, you’ll find plenty of varied terrain to enjoy here, providing plenty of putting and chipping opportunities. Its low-lying soils are well-draining, meaning that the course has fantastic quality turf throughout.

There’s a wealth of flora found at Les Aisses, with scotch oak and pine trees, as well as four types of heather. Its position in the surrounding woodlands gives this course a very vintage feel, so if you enjoy some of the classic courses around London in the UK, you must pay a visit to Les Aisses.

Golf de Granville

Granville is a traditional links course that celebrated its centenary in 2012, with refurbished bunkers and fairways to celebrate. There are several plateau greens in true, some with dramatic slopes and a good variety of grass types to add challenging shots for those looking to sharpen their skills.

Be sure to stop as you play as there are some spectacular tees with views across the whole course. And, if you have time during your stay, be sure to visit nearby Mont Saint-Michel, an idyllic island commune that offers both castle and world famous restaurant in the form of La Mère Poulard.

Your golfing break in France starts here

Travelling to France by car allows you to take all your clubs and equipment safely across the Channel, ready to play to your heart’s content at any one of these great golf courses. You’ll go from Folkestone to Calais in just 35 minutes in complete comfort.

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Your golfing break in France starts here

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