A SHORT HISTORY OF GOLF IN FRANCE
 

AT A GLANCE

It is impossible to write an history of golf in France in few pages. We decided to just focus on few players from the beginning of the century and also on the first golf courses.  

GREAT PLAYERS

 ARNAUD MASSY  
  Born in Biarritz (south-west of France), in 1877. He discovered the game by caddying there when the course was just built in 1888.
First appearance at the Open in 1905. He finished 5th.
Two years later, in june 1907, at Hoylake, he became the first foreigner (and the only french player until today)  to win this tremendous championship.
Won also the French Open 4 times (1906, 1907, 1911, 1925).
 
He wrote the first general book on golf in french.


    
THE FRENCH MOUSQUETEERS
 
Massy will be a key person within a group of for great players also known as the french golf mousqueteers.
 
This picture was taken in 1911 at La Boulie (Golf de Paris) and was printed as a postcard.
From left to right : Jean Gassiat, Louis Tellier, Arnaud Massy and Etienne Laffitte.
 
  On june the 30th, 1913, this team won all the matches which were played against four of the greatest US players : John McDermott (twice winner of the US Open in 1911 and 1912), Mike Brady, Alex Smith and Tom McNamara.
If Massy and Laffitte played often very well in the Open, Louis Tellier played brilliantly in the US Open.
(see : A french at the US-Open)

    
SIMONE LACOSTE née THION DE LA CHAUME
 
  Won the Ladies British Open in 1927 - and the French Ladies' Open six times (1926, 1927,  1930, 1935, 1938 and 1939).
She married René Lacoste, the great tennis champion.
 
Her daughter, Catherine Lacoste, continuing the skills and tradition, will become the only amateur to won the US Women's Open (in 1967).
She also won the LBO in 1969 giving us the only example of daughter and mother winners in the Britsh.
 

GOLF COURSES BEFORE 1900

  We give below dates of creation (or inauguration - the distinction is not always easy) for the eldest french golf courses.
On the other side, in 1914, there were more than a dozen of personnal courses !
   
Pau1856 
Biarritz1888 
Argelès Gazost1890 ?No longer exists
Dinard1890 
Cannes Mandelieu1891 
St Jean de Luz (Ste Barbe)1892No longer exists
Paramé St Malo1893 ?No longer exists
Hyères (Les Palmiers)1894No longer exists
St Raphaël Valescure1895 
Compiègne1896 
Le Mesnil le Roi1896No longer exists
Dieppe Pourville1897 
Deauville (Old course)1899No longer exists
    
Pau is the eldest course in France. It has the privilege to be the eldest in the world ... except the United Kingdom and India. It was built in 1856 well before golf spread out in the United-States.     
 
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