Brittany offers an exceptional variety of golf courses. Either by the sea, in the hills or deep in the forest, there are courses for every taste and ability.
Here’s a selection of some of the best 18 holes golf courses in Brittany.
Golf Pléneuf Val-André
No wonder it’s called the “Eleventh heaven”. With wonderful views along the coast, Pléneuf-Val-André is a glorious seaside course. More clifftop than traditional links, it is nevertheless extensively bunkered with the greens being particularly well defended. The course is quite challenging, but it’s perfect if you want to enjoy the coast away from the wind.
Established in 1887, Dinard is France’s second-oldest golf course. Founded by a group of British settlers and designed by the famous Scotsman Tom Dunn, it is clearly modelled on the great courses ‘back home’. This course is authentic and the quality is extraordinary. It’s a must for those with a feel for golf’s history and traditions.
Saint-Malo Golf Resort
A magnificent example of the new generation of French golf clubs, St Malo Hotel, Golf and Country Club is a cracker. It offers superb parkland golf with a delightful on-site hotel. On the edge of the Mesnil forest and bordering the lovely Lake Mirloup, this course is one of the largest in Brittany, with its 6700 yards. Designed by Hubert Chesneau, the architect of the famous Golf National near Paris, it certainly has the feel of an old established estate with a majestic lake adding an extra touch of class.
Les Ormes, Golf and Resort
Located in the heart of the Emerald Coast between Rennes and St Malo, Les Ormes is in the middle of a chateau estate that is now a holiday resort.
The course weaves around glorious parkland: majestic old trees, beautiful flowerbeds and lakes, which all add to the delightful atmosphere. Narrow fairways, clever bunkering and frequent water hazards, the game can be quite challenging at times. When the round is over, don’t forget to enjoy a beer or two on the terrace.
Golf de Cornouaille
Designed by the famous course architect Fred Hawtree and opened just over 50 years ago, Quimper-Cornouaille claims to be the oldest course on Brittany’s glorious south coast. With many of the holes enjoying delightful views over the water and the Glénan archipelago, you’ll enjoy the birdlife that clearly brings a lot of charm to the course. An exceptionally friendly club with a splendid 18th century clubhouse, Quimper-Cornouaille should not be missed.
Golf de la Freslonnière
Still in immaculate condition, La Freslonnière is known as one of the best courses in the region, and makes wonderful use if its nature assets.
One of the outstanding features is undoubtedly the magnificent rhododendrons. Indeed, many flower-loving golfers plan to visit in May, which is the best time of the year to see them. With the course winding its way through the forest, the fairways are pretty tight and tree-lined. A splendid chateau provides another pleasant surprise – two rooms in the chateau are available for bed and breakfast.
Golf de Cicé Blossac
Five miles south-west of Rennes, the 6127-yard course Cicé Blossac is quite American in style. The greens and tees are built upon sand, comply with USGA standards, are very fast draining and therefore playable throughout the year. Putting on the greens, which are enormous and of an exceptionally high standard, is a real treat. Opened in 1992, Cicé Blossac has hosted a number of important championships. The tree-lined fairways are wide and there aren’t too many bunkers to worry about.
Golf de Baden
This delightful seaside course offers frequent glimpses over the pretty estuary of the River Auray and is full of interest. The flourishing gorse and the pines can make the game more difficult but also very appealing. Baden is quite special when the wind starts whistling, and gives a great atmosphere to the game. The food served in the clubhouse is certainly out of the ordinary. There’s also a three-hole pitch-and-putt practice facility, a decent-sized driving range and an exceptionally good putting green.
Since it has hosted the French professional championship on a couple of occasions back in the late ‘80s and the National Open in ‘95, St Laurent is clearly worth a try.
Despite the fact that it weaves through an oak and pine forest, the fairways are pretty generous and the trees are less of a threat as they give protection from the wind. Selected by a French golf magazine as one of the nation’s top 40 courses, it’s extremmely enjoyable and genuinely suited to players of all standards.