Walking off those French desserts in France's Rhone-Alpes region at superb Grenoble International
It feels a little bit like off-season as we’re touring France’s Rhones-Alpes region this week. This is skiing country for the most part, but in the summertime, it’s still a very scenic and leisurely place to enjoy France, whether you’re on the hike and bike trails or teeing it up on an area golf course.
It also seems somewhat void of tourist crowds, which I often associate France with, at least in the south of France and Paris. We’ve been in St. Etienne, Grenoble and now Correncon, and there hasn’t been much of a commercial tourist feel at all, though in the winter time these towns and villages are bustling when there’s fresh powder.
The golf course we visited yesterday, Grenoble International, was superb mountain golf in the “capital of the Alps.” The former Winter Olympic host city itself isn’t the most picturesque city in France, but the dramatic mountainsides surrounding it more than make up for it. And the golf course, a Robert Trent Jones Jr. championship design, takes full advantage of the Alps scenery, especially with steep elevation drops on the 9th and 18th holes among a few others.
Here’s a bonus: at just 55 Euros, it’s an absolute steal no matter what currency you’re converting from.
Of course, the centerpiece of any France golf trip is going to be the food. At. St. Etienne Golf Club the previous day, we played a pleasant little municipal course that had a menu that attracted plenty of business lunches from surrounding areas. At the golf clubs, it seems like a casual lunch can stretch out to two hours and multiple bottles of wine, and they especially don’t mess around with the desserts, which has ranged from chocolate to strawberry yogurt to blueberry pie. Last night at dinner, someone asked the chef how, in the wake of such large sweets dishes, he managed to stay so skinny. He replied (in French), that it’s because he spends most of the day chasing girls around.
For our group, it’s all the more reason to trudge these mountain golf courses on foot to keep the spare tire at bay.
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