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Top 40 Golf Courses of France 2014

13 January, 2014

Top 40 Golf Courses of France 2014

Top 100 updates its French golf course rankings

There are nearly 600 golf courses in France, more than Scotland’s Home of Golf can offer, yet there are many great French courses that are literally unknown by those outside the country’s hexagon.

Our French golf course coverage is still, unfortunately, wanting. We have nearly one hundred French courses on our shortlist, but we are currently only able to showcase forty-six on the Top 100 website. The reason for this is largely due to a lack of local knowledge and we’re hoping to remedy this shortfall in the not too distant future.

There’s little change at the top of our new Top 40 French ranking table for 2014, which is headed once again by the venerable Morfontaine. However, there is one Sologne course, Les Aisses, which makes a giant leap up the table thanks to recent restorative work. Architect Russell Talley told us “the owner’s brief for Hawtree Ltd was to re-create an old-style course reminiscent and inspired by the old heathland courses of the UK.” Consequently, fairways were enlarged, all tees and greens were remodelled, plus, among other work, new fairway bunkering was installed. Russell’s exclusive article is available on our Les Aisses web page, so click the link above if you’d like to read more.

Two new French courses enter the rankings this time round and most golfers reading thus far will be very aware of Evian, which occupies a delightfully scenic site overlooking the shimmering waters of Lake Geneva. It’s an overdue addition to our French table following its overhaul by Dave Sampson of European Golf Design in preparation for the staging of the first Ladies Major on the continent of Europe in 2013 – the Evian Championship.

Harry Colt and Charles Alison originally designed Le Links at Golf de Granville, our second new French entry. Stuart Hallett is gradually restoring this Atlantic links and he told us: “I have been working with Granville since 2006, in order to progressively renovate the golf course. At that time, the course didn't look like an authentic links, and it certainly didn't play like one either. Our goal has been to revive the original character of the course despite some lost holes in the early 1990s.” If you want to read more about Le Links from Stuart, click the above link, but did you know that according to former golf magazine editors, George Peper and Malcolm Campbell, Granville is the only “True Links” course in France? I wonder if Chiberta feels a little aggrieved at being left out of the true links club?

In the heart of the Bordeaux wine region, close to the mediaeval town of St Emilion, there is a new course in the pipeline that one of France’s most influential golfing families, Mourgue d'Algue, are developing. The family behind the Peugeot and Rolex golf guides has commissioned Tom Doak to design the course, which will no doubt be a high flyer in all the ratings when it opens for play.

We always welcome feedback at Top 100 Golf Courses, so feel free to let us know what you think of our golf course coverage in France – there must be many other layouts in this country that are worthy of exposure on the Top 100 website?

Top 100 doesn’t claim to be “definitive” but we like to think we create the “most informed” golf course rankings in the business. If you’ve played any of our featured French courses, we’d love to know your thoughts, so why not post a course review?

Keith Baxter

2014 Course Move
1 Morfontaine No change
2 Les Bordes No change
3 Chantilly (Vineuil) No change
4 Fontainebleau Up 1
5 National (L'Albatros) Down 1
6 Prince de Provence No change
7 Domaine de Terre Blanche (Château) Up 1
8 Kempferhof Up 1
9 Spérone Down 2
10 Medoc (Chateaux) Up 1
11 Seignosse Up 1
12 Saint Germain Down 2
13 Le Touquet (La Mer) No change
14 Hardelot (Les Pins) Up 4
15 Les Aisses Up 21
16 Hossegor Up 1
17 Joyenval (Marly) Down 2
18 St Nom-la-Breteche (Rouge) Down 2
19 Chiberta Up 1
20 Courson (Vert/Noir) Up 1
21 Moliets Down 2
22 Barbaroux Down 8
23 Limere Down 1
24 Paris International Down 1
25 Belle Dune Up 4
26 Saint Cloud (Vert) Down 1
27 Soufflenheim Down 3
28 Nimes Campagne Down 2
29 Pleneuf-Val-Andre Down 2
30 Royal Mougins Down 2
31 Pont Royal No change
32 Lyon (Sangliers) Up 2
33 Evian NEW
34 Granville (Le Links) NEW
35 Chateau de Taulane Down 5
36 Albi Down 4
37 Bondues (Trent Jones) Down 4
38 Grenoble-Bresson Down 3
39 Saint-Donat Down 2
40 St Nom-la-Breteche (Bleu) Down 1

Click the link to see the latest French Top 40 in detail.


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