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Top 100 Golf Courses of France 2023

06 February, 2023
Jim McCann

It’s been almost three years since we revised our France Top 100 listings. In years gone by, we’d begin every second calendar year with a reappraisal of the Continental Europe Top 100 then work our way through the various national charts, starting with France. This time around, we’re looking at all the national charts first before ending with a European overview.

Having published our Nordic standings a few months ago, we’re now focused on countries to the south of that geographical region, with France one of the most important golfing nations under scrutiny. We’ve also assembled a new ranking panel so there’s been quite a shake up with the old order and twenty new entries now make the cut in this edition of our Gallic chart.

Thirty courses move up, seven remain in the same place and forty-three fall from their previous position.


The 18-hole Grand Parcours layout at Golf de Morfontaine remains our #1 for France. Redesigned by Tom Simpson in the 1930s and further refined in recent years by Kyle Phillips, this heathland masterpiece in the densely forested landscape to the north of Paris is not only the national number 1, it’s also currently #1 in Continental Europe in addition to residing comfortably in the top half of our World Top 100.

A reviewer commented on the course last year as follows: “such a wonderful routing without any compromise… each hole is memorable, unique and there is none of that nonsense signature hole business… there is no weak hole, perhaps a less challenging one or three, but it is ensemble… greens are well and thoughtfully contoured without any sense of repetition or artificiality.”

Les Bordes

The New course at Les Bordes hurtles into our chart at #2, overtaking its stablemate the Old course which drops four spots to #6. Designed by Gil Hanse, the New course was only unveiled in 2021 but it’s made an immediate impact with those fortunate enough to have played here – it’s the first Continental European project for the American architect and what a way for him to get off the mark!

Great emphasis has been placed on the ground game for a heathland-style layout that plays firm and fast with large waste areas, formidable bunkering and captivating green complexes. An adjoining 10-hole Wild Piglet short course also brings an additional element of fun and golfing entertainment. As Hanse says: “golf should be fun, it shouldn’t suck.”

Les Aisses

The 18-hole Les Aisses layout at Les Aisses Golf, to the south of Orléans, advances four places to re-enter the Top 10 at #8, having enjoyed a previous listing at #10 in 2016. Originally designed by Olivier Brizon but radically remodelled in the style of a London heathland course by Martin Hawtree thirteen years ago, Les Aisses is maturing nicely into something of a modern classic.

Our Alpine correspondent François visited in 2021 and wrote: “almost every hole on the course is set in its special, forest-lined world: no distraction from other players, just the game. Each tee is therefore a new story, and a new invitation… to face the mischief ahead! You can see it but can you avoid it each time?”


The L’Albatros course at Golf National in Guyancourt dropped out of the French Top 10 in 2016 and it also re-enters this top echelon of the chart with a four-place jump to #10. Scene of Europe’s memorable Ryder Cup victory over Team America in 2018, L’Albatros is the current annual venue for the Open de France which was won by Guido Migliozzi last year.

A reviewer wrote a few months ago: “when first I played in 2018, the rough was brutal (but) my most recent rounds have seen the thick rough much thinner… the water hazards are now the greatest obstacle to completing a round without excessive ball loss… the key to playing the course is to be realistic and play off tees shorter than your home course.”

Royal Mougins

A little further down the listings, the Robert von Hagge-designed course at the Royal Mougins Golf Resort outside Cannes rises eight places to #24. Owned by businessman Rattan Chadha, Royal Mougins has added a hotel and spa to an already impressive range of off-course amenities. It’s a special place to visit with the course laid out across an interesting and rather undulating piece of land.


Climbing seven rungs of the ladder to #30, the Vignes course at Golf du Médoc near Bordeaux reverses the fall of seven places it suffered when we last updated this chart. Canadian Rod Whitman is credited as the architect of a layout that appeared just a few years after the Châteaux debuted in 1989.

“An ideal complement to the main Châteaux course,” is how a reviewer described the Vignes last year. Another person wrote: “Vignes is reminiscent of a British heathland track with its sandy base and parkland style. Strong bunkering and plentiful trees provide a strong defence, as do the undulating greens which are a constant challenge.”

Maison Blanche

Golf & Country Club de Maison Blanche boasts a 27-hole golf facility near Geneva, with the 18-hole Les Sources layout (new at #33) configured as a championship-standard course. Designed by Peter Harradine in the early 1990s, this track was constructed with the creation of artificial lakes and limited earth movement to fashion eighteen holes that are fully integrated into their natural environment.


Rising fourteen to #35, the Lilas and Orange nines at Golf du Stade Français are now only six places behind the Vert and Noir nines at the same 36-hole venue in Courson-Monteloup. In all honesty, there’s little to choose between any of these four Robert von Hagge-designed 9-hole loops and golfers are guaranteed to enjoy a round on any of the six 18-hole combinations at this wonderful golf complex.

Terre Blanche

Climbing eleven to #37, the 18-hole Le Riou course at the Terre Blanche Hotel Spa & Golf Resort in Côte d'Azur lives very much in the shadow of its very highly-rated sibling, the Château. However, it’s a big mistake if you visit this 36-hole facility and don’t play this Dave-Thomas designed beauty which has hosted ten editions of the Terre Blanche Ladies Open on the LET Access Series since 2010.


Another course to make a double-digit improvement in its chart position is the 18-hole layout at Saint-Jean-de-Monts in the Vendée department of Pays de la Loire, rising eighteen places to #50. Set out along the Atlantic Ocean, this Yves Bureau design initially weaves through a maritime forest before emerging into more open terrain alongside the long strand that runs along coastline between Notre-Dame-de-Monts and Saint-Hilaire-de-Riez.

Le Golf Parc Robert Hersant

The course at Le Golf Park Robert Hersant in La Chaussée-d’Ivry makes an even more prodigious leap up the listings, soaring twenty-two places to #62. Named after media magnate Robert Hersant who engaged Ron Fream to lay out the fairways, this water-laden course is routed around what amounts to a magnificent arboretum containing thousands of trees from all over the world. 

Le Prieuré

Golf du Prieuré (up thirteen to #73) lies between the villages of Drocourt and Lainville-en-Vexin in the Hauts-de-France region and the Ouest course is one of two Fred Hawtree-designed 18-hole parkland layouts operating within the Domaine de Montcient estate. Hewn from dense woodland in the mid-1960s, the Ouest plays slightly longer than the Est but, in truth, there’s not much to choose between either of these tracks.

To view the entire detailed list of our latest Top 100 Golf Courses of France click the link. View list here.


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