Provence is an incredible area of the South of France filled with vineyards, breathtaking scenery and fantastic food. It’s also a great place to play golf. Here’s a basic guide to golfing in the Provence region of France.
Where to play
In the heart of the Vaucluse, the Provence Country Club in Saumane de Vaucluse is a 6,700 yard course at the base of the mountains. The same mountains that challenge the Tour de France riders each year. The course is beautiful, set amid the local vineyards and is open to the public. It’s very similar to public courses I play here in Los Angeles, large, open fairways, enough water and trees to keep it interesting and a good combination of long and short holes.
There’s also a 9-hole executive course, a driving range, a putting green and a full pro shop. Post-golf offerings include a bar and restaurant with views of the local scenery and mountains. And since this is Provence, the restaurant, Les Fontaines du Gerfaut, is much more than your standard 19th hole and is a favorite among locals for its gastronomic cuisine.
Greens fee is $75 for a full round off-season (November 1 through April 1) and $85 during high season. Rental clubs are $40 per set and a cart is $48. The local golf tourism group sells a Golf Pass Provence, with a package of three or five rounds at any of their 18 member courses in the South of France. The three round pass is $185 (low season) and five is $307 (low season).
Grand Golf Avignon is a 6,037 yard, par 72 course about 30 minutes from the old city of Avignon. It’s a well-designed course with a lot of water, also with the local mountains as a backdrop. The green fee is $95 with a cart, off-season and $130 during high season. There’s a full driving range, pro shop, restaurant and all the amenities of a country club.
Getting to Provence
For international visitors, the main options are to fly into Paris and take the train down, or fly into Nice and take the train up. Avignon is the largest city in the area and has a TGV station, placing it within three hours of either Paris or Nice. The area is also easy to reach by car and France’s highways and roads are well maintained and well signposted.
Where to stay
For those wishing to maximize their golf time, the Provence Country Club has serviced apartments onsite. Golfers with an interest in history can stay in the former chateau of the Marquis de Sade, the Chateau de Mazan in nearby Mazan.
Freddy Sherman is a world traveler and editor of the travel blog luxuryfred.com. You can follow him on Twitter -@luxuryfred and check out his travel photos on Instagram – @luxuryfred.
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