FRANCE

 Morfontaine is one of the very best courses in the world

Morfontaine is one of the very best courses in the world

Not many people think about a golf trip to France. Spain, yes. Portugal, yes. Turkey, yes (political climate depending). Yet the suggestion of France often receives a slightly confused look. Which is a shame. There are some quality golf options which will knock the socks off most countries in the rest of Continental Europe.

Playing golf in France is, in many ways, similar to playing in the UK. Many of the courses were designed by the great British architects of the early 20th century and are fine tests which wouldn't be out of place in the wonderful Surrey belt of courses. On top of that, some of the best modern resort courses can be found here - Terreblanche in the south being a great example.

Also, the ambience at many clubs is like you will find in the UK - the lunch at Morfontaine beats even the venerable Muirfield fare. Courses are usually presented in great condition and while the standard of play on courses will be variable, the enthusiasm cannot be faulted.

If you are looking for somewhere to base yourself for a few days then there are two options which come to mind. Firstly, the Paris area has Morfontaine, Fontainebleau, Saint Germain, Chantilly and the National, all within a relatively easy drive. Morfontaine is blow-your-socks-off amazing. I have never played an inland golf course as good as this. If you ever get the chance to play there then drop everything and go! The others all have pros and cons but any combination would make for a good trip - I thought Fontainbleau was very special.

The south of France is another area to consider. It was the scene of my very first golf trip and didn't disappoint. Terre Blanche is excellent, Taulane very good and there are a whole bunch of great tour fillers down there such as Cannes Mougins, Saint Donat and Grasse

Golf in France isn't cheap but it often represents good value and, with a little planning, you can get something which more than holds its own among other, better known, European venues.

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