The famed Le Golf National may host the European Tour's French Open and the 2018 Ryder Cup, but it’s not the only stunning layout in the north east portion of France.
LE GOLF NATIONAL JOINS GOLFY NETWORK
We made the short trip across the Channel to sample some of the best tracks France has to offer, and found outstanding layouts that each pose their own distinct test - here we collate 10 of the best.
Golfers who choose to play in France can benefit from a Golfy card which offers a 25% discount on green fees, and a host of other benefits.
Golf de Morfontaine - Grand Parcours
This Tom Simpson design is generally regarded as not just one of the best layouts in France, but in the whole of Europe.
Measuring just over 6,500 yards from the tips, the course is relatively short. Players can also open their shoulders with driver in hand on most holes, but when it comes to approaching the greens it’s a different story.
Peppered with bunkers and trees, the undulating putting surfaces are difficult to find on a good day, and even the best with flat stick in hand will struggle when on the dance floor.
This layout, located near Chantilly, is a must play for all golfers when in France.
Head to the Golf de Morfontaine website for more information.
Courson - Vert & Noir
Located 45 kilometres south of Paris, Courson was created by one of France’s biggest sports clubs – le Stade Francais.
Stretching over 7,100 yards from the tips, designer Robert von Hagge has created a club with a distinctive American feel.
Mounds run alongside the fairways, and greens are well protected by bunkers.
Head to Courson's website for more information.
Golf de l’Ailette
Roughly 140 kilometres north east of Paris in France’s Champagne region, lies Golf de l’Ailette.
REVIEW: GOLF DE L'AILETTE
Plonked alongside a serene lake which plays its part on numerous holes, the course enjoys two contrasting nines that will keep players interested until the 18th green.
If golfers stay out of the water, they should be able to score well around this track.
Head to the Golf de l'Ailette website for more information.
The Tom Simpson design is not long, measuring only 6,642 yards from the tips. Instead, the course requires precision, with narrow, small greens requiring laser-like approach play.
Located an hour south of Paris, the course meanders through forest, replete with deer, with dense trees a prominent hazard.
Since the original design in 1909, it has had significant work done on it, most notably from Fred Hawtree in the late 1950s.
Head to Fontainbleau's website for more information.
Golf de Reims
Located a couple of hours drive north east of Paris in the Champagne region, Golf de Reims boasts a spectacular clubhouse, and a course to match.
REVIEW: GOLF DE REIMS
Large fairways and green means players can card some great scores here, but the greens are tough and undulating.
Head to the Golf de Reims website for more information.
Located to the west of Paris, the Harry Colt design is a parkland layout which winds its way through Saint Germain forest.
Every green is surrounded by trees, and there are also copious bunkers protecting the putting surfaces.
Some trees and bushes have been removed over time, but Colt’s signature false fronts on greens remain.
Head to Saint Germain's website for more information.
National - L'Albatros
Host of the 2016 French Open and the 2018 Ryder Cup, Golf National resides just 20 miles west of Paris.
Opened for play in 1990, the layout stretches over 7,000 yards from the tips, and is generally regarded as one of the toughest tests in France.
Greens are well protected – players will need to have a sharpened short game should they wish to play anywhere near their handicap.
The Albatros course merges the feel of a links lyout with modern features.
Head to National's website for more information.
Hardelot, Les Pins
Set among dunes and a pine forest, Hardelot is located on the north coast, near Calais.
Re-designed in 1931 by Tom Simpson, the layout eases golfers into the round before fairways become narrower, and trees become more abundant.
The club has removed trees and widened fairways over the years, but it remains a stern test of all abilities.
Head to Hardelot's website for more information.
On the border with Germany, near Strasbourg, Kempferhof is plonked in the middle of an 85-hectare estate.
Opened for play in 1989, designer Robert von Hagge birthed a tough course, replete with water and bunkering.
Tight fairways put a paramount on accurate driving, or you’ll end up searching in the trees.
The spectacular clubhouse had a former life as a 19th century hunting lodge, and is a sublime setting for post-round refreshments.
Head to Kempferhof's website for more information.
Chantilly - Vineuil
Situated roughly 30 miles north of Paris, Chantilly enjoys the forest of the Ile de France as its sublime surroundings.
Bunkering is the course’s most potent weapon, forcing players to have laser like accuracy off the tee in order to score well at this tough track.
The layout is the brainchild of English architect Tom Simpson, and the design retains a British feel.
Head to Chantilly's website for more information.