Golf in France: 18 Differences

Of course golf in France is going to be different. But how it’s different is kind of interesting. Here are 18 things I’ve learned:

  1. Everything is in French. Duh.
  2. One of the most challenging things on a day-to-day basis isn’t the language, but switching to the metric system for everything. A friend used to challenge me to figure out my yardages on the course, without referring to my GPS. Now it’s figuring out how many meters it would be and what club gets me there. It’s a work in progress.
  3. Almost everyone walks. Unless it’s a very hilly course, electric carts are few and far between (and expensive).
  4. Whether people are walking or riding, they’re often accompanied by dogs. Dogs are everywhere on courses, walking, riding, or even pulling carts. You’ll even find them on the practice range, where they just find a comfortable spot to nap.
  5. Speaking of the practice range, here you need to bring your own rubber tees for the mats. No idea why they’re not provided.
  6. All the flags are the same color. No red, white, or blue to show front, center, back. And no apparent way to know where the flags are placed on the green. Hmmm.
  7. There are no cart girls. Or drinkable water on the course. It’s pretty much BYO.
  8. The “turn” is not necessarily after the 9th As a matter of fact, it’s more likely to be on the 11th, 12th or even 13th.
  9. And there’s not necessarily a bathroom at the “turn,” or a place to buy water.
  10. Some courses you play off mats on the tee boxes instead of grass. Not good. The last time I played like that was in Da Bronx.
  11. We took a boat across a river on one course near Cannes, while private jets roared overhead.
  12. At a recent tournament, there was a wine tasting on the 9th And an 8:30 AM shotgun start, which means that you might have the luck (?) to start drinking before you even take a shot.
  13. Back in the Hudson Valley you could play a lot of great courses for under $100 a round with a cart. Not so here. $100 is about average for walking. Add in a voiturette (riding cart) and you’re at about $140.
  14. The courses are in good but not great shape. For $100++ I want perfect greens, mown fairways and tee boxes with grass, not mats.
  15. Lunch is generally really good (had to get food in here somewhere). I’ll happily swap all hot dogs and burgers for steak tartare and frites! Recent daily specials have included boeuf bourguignon, 2 types of steak tartare, fresh fish and a perfect omelet.
  16. There’s also a good selection of wines, desserts and coffee with lunch. And always drinks afterwards.
  17. But you have to finish your round by 2:00 or the kitchen might be closed, and the chef has taken a break because he either ran out of bread or needs a smoke.
  18. There are gorgeous views of the Mediterranean, mountains, old chateaus, sculptures and beautiful woods ready to accept an errant golf ball or two.






2 thoughts on “Golf in France: 18 Differences”

  1. This is fascinating cultural info, Anne. I am really enjoying your weekly observations. My peonies are about to bloom. They are huge…we had a gloomy and rainy spring and the plants loved it.

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