Golfing in Normandy
Not surprisingly, France has long been the number one European destination for travelers.
Renowned for its beauty, cuisine, wine and culture, the tourist is spoilt for choice. It has not however traditionally been thought of as a destination for the golfer, which is a view fast changing. Over the last twenty years there has been an explosion of new courses in France of varying quality - but some truly outstanding.
The great thing about golf in France is that many of the courses are to be found in popular tourist areas where there are many other attractions should you or your partner wish to do things other than play golf. In addition, as yet not many French are playing golf and they do not have the same (what some would describe as "stuffy" and) formal approach to golf. So we often find great courses, unpacked and with a very laid back approach and more often than not a very welcoming restaurant at the end.
I am a mad keen golfer and enjoy the perpetual struggle of getting my handicap down from 12 at present. Let me tell you about the amazing golf to be had in Normandy where there are so many other great things to see. Should you come with me you will enjoy the advantages of somebody who knows the course already and will take care of all the booking arrangements, driving you around, handling your clubs etc.
Day 1: Paris to Rouen Champs de Bataille Golf Course
Not too far from Paris just into Normandy we have Champs de Bataille Golf Course, a truly impressive championship course set in exceptional natural setting of forest and Parkland. 2005 European Golf Magazine voted it number one in Normandy on basis of design, setting and maintenance.
Nearby attractions include Monet's gardens at Giverny and the Medieval town of Rouen. We will spend the night in the Rouen area.
Day 2: Rouen to Honfleur Etretat Golf Course
Now we go north to the alabaster coastline of Normandy and the traditional seaside town of Etretat, with famous white cliffs oft painted by the Impressionists, most notably Monet. Etretat Golf Course is in a setting of unique and rare beauty where each hole offers a different view of the sea. It was voted one of the three most scenic courses in France. Nearby attractions are the picturesque port and artists' town of Honfleur and the chique Deauville. We will stay overnight in the Honfleur area.
Day 3: Honfleur to Bayeux Omaha Golf Course
Continuing along the coastline we arrive at the infamous Omaha Beach area where so many Americans perished on June 6 1944. Omaha Golf Course itself is on land libereated by the "Big Red One" as it pushed east off the beach. It is the only 4 nine hole golf course complex in France: the classic 18 Comprise La Mer and Le Manoir in the Bocage are an interesting contrast between a coastal and an inland hedgerow course. The signature seaside sixth hole green is alongside a German gun battery that overlooks the fishing harbour of Port-en-Bessin. Again a course highly rated in France and for many, the best in Normandy. Nearby attractions are the landing beaches and medeval town of Bayeux, famous for its tapestry. We will stay the night near Bayeux.
Day 4: Bayeux to Mont St Michel Granville Golf Course
Lets now follow the route taken by General Patton as the Americans broke through and head across the Bocage country towards the magnificent Mont St Michel, a wonder of the western world. Here on the coast at Granville we experience the only true links golf course in France, very much Scottish in style where the great challenge is provided by the wind. A magnificent if slighty hair raising experience.
Another nearby attraction is Mont St Michel. We can spend the night on the island, or nearby.
Depending on your time and interests we advise at least 4 days with 18 holes each day. Ideally one would extend to take advantage of seeing other attractions.
We recommend bringing your own clubs, though clubs can normally be hired at each course.
Accommodation would be at the nearest town as to your budget. In France, golf carts are not included in round price and are not always compulsory. You can walk courses either carrying your bag or hiring a trolley. Caddies are not normally available.