Make sense of... Playing golf in France

Like whisky, golf is a Scottish import loved by many French people. This month, we look at how to get started in the sport.

Golf started in Scotland then spread to England and India – but France was the first place in continental Europe to take to the game and is now one of Europe’s biggest golfing countries with 700 courses.

Often seen as exclusive, golf can in fact be affordable in France – and one of its pluses is that you can, with a little luck, go on playing it all through life. For an English-speaker, its vocabulary is also very familiar, from les green fees to le tee, le driver or le bunker.

Pau, in the south-west, is the oldest course. Scottish officers from a regiment of Welling­ton’s army are said to have been the first to play at the spot during the Napoleonic wars before returning in later years. A British community grew up in ...

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