Playing the 6 best golf courses along Normandy Coastline should be part of your golf experience in France. Because this region is very dynamic and does a lot for tourism and golf. With easy access and only 2 hours from the Paris by car, these 6 remarkable courses are waiting for you to share very good memories!
Land of Art, Tourism and Golf
The first tourists arrived in Normandy in the first half of the nineteenth century in water towns like Forges Les Eaux or Bagnoles de l’Orne.
Then the practice of sea bathing, successfully launched in the United Kingdom, crossed the Channel to settle in Dieppe. It was a great success. Thanks to the steamship, this city became easily accessible from Great Britain. Faced with the success of these aquatic activities, other small coastal villages, without reputation, will emulate the “model” of Dieppe.
Thus were born the seaside resorts of Étretat, Granville, Deauville, or Trouville. Then, tourism will develop inland with the attraction of the many medieval monuments of this region of France.
6 golf courses along the Coastline in Normandy
Golf in Normandy was born at the seaside. The arrival of english tourists for the sea bathings has largely contributed to the establishment of golf in Normandy.
As the region of the Emerald Coast with the Dinard golf course, crompleted in 1887, Normandy Region had to get, golf courses to attract English tourists, too.
Logically, the dean of the 6 golf courses in Normandy was inaugurated along seaside, in Dieppe-Pourville in 1893. A few years later, a second course was created in Deauville, but this “Old Course”, dating from 1899, does not exist any longer. Consequently, the current courses of Cabourg and Etretat, dating respectively from 1907 and 1908, are the 2nd and 3rd oldest golf courses in Normandy in activity.
Granville : The "Monaco of the North"
The creation of Granville Golf Club, and its magnificent Scottish links took place in 1912. Then in 1929, the very famous seaside city of Deauville inaugurated its second golf course with the “New Golf”.
In the history of Normandy, the second world war holds a large place. Historic place of the American landing in June 1944, the lands trod by the valiant soldiers are now trod by the heroic children or grandchildren of these veterans American or English, golfers and golfers. The many commemoration visits to the landing beaches contributed to the existence of the 2 Omaha Beach golf courses in Port-en-Bessin.
Most of these 6 golf courses of the Coastline in Normandy, are part of the Top 100 (GolfWorld) of the French golf courses. That’s why they all deserve to be played to appreciate their drawing and their panoramic seaviews of the Channel.
Famous architects for these 6 coastal courses in Normandy.
The design of these 6 golf courses on the Normandy coast appealed to the most famous architects. Englishman Willie Park Junior has shaped the first of his 3 courses in France. It was Dieppe-Pourville in 1897 and today is the 7th oldest golf in France. Thereafter, Willie Park Jr will design near Versailles, La Boulie Golf Course and near Monaco, Mont-Agel Golf Course.
In 1907, the seaside resort of Cabourg entrusted the design of its golf course to two other renowned English architects: Lane Jackson at first, then to Harry Shapland Colt, for an extension, 3 years later.
Harry Shapland Colt had realized in France, before, the Golf du Phare in Biarritz and the Old Course of Mandelieu. He realizes, here, one of his 11 French courses.
Harry S. Colt will complete Granville Golf course in 1912 with the collaboration of Charles Allison. It is this same duo of talent who will realize, 22 years later, on the Opal Coast in Le Touquet, a reference of the French golf courses with the very famous course “La Mer”. Harry Colt also intervened on courses of world renown in Great Britain, including Royal St Georges, Royal Troon, Royal Lytham and St Annes, regular hosts of The Open
In 1908, the small and famous town of Etretat along Alabaster Coast, is well known for its famous Aiguille Creuse. This town inaugurated its golf course overlooking this geological curiosity. Julien Chantepie, with the collaboration of Arnaud Massy, the only French player to win a Major tournament as of today, designed the first 11 holes.
Deauville, Land of Golf.
The history of the Golf at Deauville was tormented. In the 30s, during 15 years, there were 2 great golf courses in Deauville.
The first one, The Old Course was completed in 1899 near the racecourse. Its 27 holes were destroyed by the German Army during 2nd World War II, (need sand to build the Atlantic Wall). The second one, The New Golf, the current 18-hole golf course of Deauville is the work Tom Simpson in 1929. Englishman, Tom Simpson is certainly the architect who designed the most prestigious golf courses in France with Morfontaine, Fontainebleau, Chantilly Vineuil, Chiberta or Hardelot Les Pins. This New Golf de Deauville is one of its last two courses drawn in France (with Le Golf du Lys in Chantilly). Completed by a 9-hole course in 1964, designed by John Henri Taylor, the New Golf is now one of the 6 coastal golf courses in Normandy to play absolutely. It hosted the French Open, the Ebel Match Play in the 80s.
Omaha Beach, war bunkers and 2 golfcourses.
Closer to the end of the 20th century, in 1986, the French architect, Yves Bureau, designed the 2 courses in Omaha Beach (La Mer and Le Manoir). Honored by the visit of Arnold Palmer in 2014 during the 50th anniversary of the American landing of 1944 and D-Day, these two courses, with some greens on the cliffs (La Mer) or in the apple orchards (Le Manoir), are, now, a “must play” for an experience “Golf made in Normandy”.
So, do not hesitate, come play these 6 golf courses along Normandy Coast, you will do enjoy !