FRANCE

FRANCE

THE FRENCH CONNECTION!

France, a romantic, intoxicating country, a country of contrasts, from the indulgent luxury and verve of pulsating Paris, to perfumed Provence and the glorious sun-kissed beaches of the Cote D’ Azure, from the sublime sophistication of sipping the local brew in the Champagne region, to the laid back simplicity of picture postcard villages, that time seems to have passed by, in the vast, verdant interior.

A country famed for its elegance, sophistication and savoir faire, France conjures images of historic chateaux and vineyards, of crusty bread and smelly cheeses, garlic, onions and last but not least-the Eiffel Tower! Its gastronomy has influenced every corner of the globe, producer of an abundance of the finest wines to be found on the planet, of which, Champagne and Cognac are its Jewels in the Crown. Throw in the French panache for fashion and an immense contribution to the arts, it’s no wonder that France boasts one of the most diverse cultures to be found anywhere in the world.

Twice the size of Great Britain but with a population of roughly the same number, France now boasts in excess of 600 courses and all but a handful of them welcome golfing nomads open heartedly. 

When clubhouse conversation turns to discussing premier golfing nations, France is not a destination that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue. Indeed, it is true to say that golf for the French had lain dormant for a large proportion of the 20th century, before exploding into life in the 80’s and 90’s. Strange then, that the first course constructed anywhere in continental Europe was in the foothills of the Pyrenees Mountains in 1856 in the sleepy town of Pau, by British ex-pats of course! Golf has by and large, failed to stir the gaelic juices of the French, possibly due to the lack of any golfing superstars á la Spain with Ballesteros, Olazabal and Garcia or Germany with Langer and Kaymer. Indeed if you were to enquire of France’s most successful golfing son, the answer would probably be Jean Van De Velde, more famous for his paddling exploits at Carnoustie than for his golfing achievements. However, it is a golfer who few will have heard, who dons the mantle of France’s top dog, Arnaud Massey, the countries only major champion (to date) having won the Open in 1907!

The diversity of accommodation options mirrors that of the country itself, from the palatial luxury of charismatic chateaux, superlative hotels, rustic farmhouses to gites there is something to appeal to everyone. 

There are golf holiday options galore in France, whether it’s a short hop across the channel for a few days in Pas de Calais, the rugged coastal regions of Normandy and Brittany or the romantic sophistication of Paris and Ile De France. Why not combine golf and wine tours in Champagne, Bordeaux or the Loire Valley? Perhaps try the decadent luxury of Provence and the Cote D’ Azure, rubbing shoulders with the “in crowd”. With each of France’s golfing regions being so different it’s possible to go back year after year and never experience the same type of holiday twice. Isn’t it time that you tried the…

THE FRENCH CONNECTION!