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11 Best French Golfers Of All Time (With Fun Stories)

Golfing in France is a fascinating subject as there have been numerous talented golfers from France over the years.

While most people associate France with football, this does not mean it does not produce high-grade French golfers.

This includes some of the best French golfers of all time.

Some of the top French golfers include Gregory Havret, Marc-Antoine Farry, Thomas Levet, Arnaud Massy, and Victor Dubuisson. These are professional golfers from France that have earned critical acclaim throughout their careers.

It’s common to see these golfers on French golf courses doing a wonderful job of putting on a show. They have had illustrious careers with exceptional experience as time has gone on.

For those wanting to learn more about golfers in France, it’s essential to break down the leading French golfers over the years.

The top French golfers of all time are professionals that have done it all and set a high standard of excellence.

Here is a look at the top French golfers of all time and fun stories from their time as golfers.

Best French Golfers Of All Time

1. Gregory Havret

Born in La Rochelle, Gregory Havret was a common sight on the European tour during his ascendancy as a talented French golfer in the early 2000s.

At the time, he was someone seen with exemplary skills that had all the talent in the world to become among the best in the business. He made his debut in the late-90s and became a staple at these events rolling into the 2000s.

One of his finest performances took place when he finished runner-up at the US Open (2010). While he didn’t go on to win the tournament, he became an established name in North America as he already held acclaim in Europe.

He has a ranking of 788 and also managed to enter the top 100 for world golfers in 2008.

One of the more interesting parts of Havret’s golf career had to do with his Order of Merit ranking. He managed to finish 19th and he also completed hundreds of European tour events throughout his golf career.

An interesting tidbit about Havret was that he adored representing France at the international level for golf. It was common to see him participate on behalf of France at amateur and professional tournaments including the Eisenhower Trophy and Seve Trophy.

2. Marc-Antoine Farry

When it comes to classic French golfers, it’s time to bring up Marc-Antoine Farry. This regal golfer was one of the finest to come out of France at the time.

Farry was born in Paris and was well-known as a teacher during his earlier years.

As he developed his game from childhood onward, he was remarkably passionate about the sport. He learned the ins and outs of a perfect golf swing and continued to work on his game every day.

In the late-70s, Farry decided it was time to become a professional golfer. He spent time on the European Tour for decades up to 2004.

The one thing Farry stood out for was his performance at home. He was one of the most established French golfers at the time and used to dominate the French tour. This included winning a remarkable 16 tour events in France.

One of the more unique stories that came out of Marc-Antoine Farry’s professional golfing career was not a positive one. It had to do with a failed drug test.

At the time, Farry was attempting to continue his career as a professional golfer when he was asked to take a random drug test. It was common practice to do this and Farry himself didn’t think too much of it.

Unfortunately for Ferry, the drug test was a positive one and it stated he had been taking an anti-inflammatory drug that was illegal.

He was able to get off free as there were no strict stipulations on this particular anti-inflammatory drug.

3. Victor Dubuisson

Born in Cannes, Victor Dubuisson quickly rose to fame as one of the premier amateur talents in French golf.

He was billed as one of the emerging talents as he worked on his game as a youngster. Scouts stated he had it all when it came to a developed golfing technique for such a young golfer and this is what led him to become the top-ranked amateur golfer on the planet.

He has long been known for particular health issues that did not help him progress as a golfer. This included dealing with sinus-related issues that made it difficult to play for a few years.

It was expected for him to become a professional and that’s what he did in 2010.

Did he continue his rein at the highest level of golf?

While he didn’t dominate as required, he ended up having a few good performances throughout the next few years and also did well at the WGC Matchplay.

4. Thomas Levet

Thomas Levet was born in the heart of Paris and is well-appreciated as one of the premier French golfers of his time.

He became a professional golfer in the late-80s and was prolific right out of the gate. This had to do with winning multiple events on the European tour and this included winning six European Tour titles.

Levet was one of the big stars during those early years on the tour and he almost managed to win a major title at the 2002 Open Championship but couldn’t seal the deal against Els.

Regardless of those failed attempts at winning a major, he has managed to make a considerable amount of money on the tour ranging in the millions of dollars.

5. Gregory Bourdy

Golfing runs in the family when it comes to Bourdy.

He is the cousin of Nicolas Beaufils who is another professional golfer from France. Bourdy was born in Bordeaux during the 80s and rapidly rose through the ranks as a young golfer.

He became a professional golfer in the early-2000s and was committed to winning multiple events as a pro. He did manage to scale new heights by becoming a winner at the Mallorca Classic in 2007.

It didn’t stop there for Gregory as he was able to win the UBS Hong Kong Open against some of the biggest names on the tour at the time. While he never managed to get into the top 10 as a golfer, he was still an illustrious name on the tour.

6. Arnaud Massy

When it comes to one of the leading French golfing professionals of all time, there is one name that is going to make everyone’s list.

Arnaud Massy is one of the founding fathers of French golfers and is heralded by golfing enthusiasts for everything he did in spreading the sport in France.

His story is exceptional as golf was not the sport it is now. This is seen through his unfortunate end where he died in poverty.

He was born in 1877 in Biarritz and was an avid golfer as a young man. No one expected a foreigner to win a major but Massy had other ideas. He managed to be the first winner from somewhere other than Great Britain in 1907 by winning the Open Championship.

He is listed as the only winner of a major championship in France’s golfing history. This alone makes him one of the finest golfers in France of all time.

Arnaud never got the opportunities that other French golfers have received as time has gone on but he was still a prolific golfer having played at 21 Open Championships.

He won various other tournaments along the way including the Spanish Open and the National Open multiple times.

7. Alexander Levy

When it comes to budding young golfers, it’s important to look at someone like Alexander Levy out of Orange, California.

Yes, Levy was born in the US but he is the son of French parents. He spent most of his young life in France and developed his game there.

His amateur performances were heralded in France as he was working on his game. This included winning the French Amateur and the Eisenhower Trophy.

As a professional golfer, Levy has managed to do well in his 20s including winning the Portugal Masters, Porsche European Open, and Volvo China Open.

The one thing about Levy is his historic rise as a young French golfer. When looking at the leading French golfers, his name is up there with the likes of Levet.

8. Jean Van de Velde

Jean Van de Velde is known for all the wrong reasons and his playing career has had moments of utter heartbreak.

This includes his infamous performance at the Open Championship where he lost a lead going into the final hole to Paul Lawrie.

Regardless of that unfortunate loss, he still managed to gain acclaim as one of the premier French golfers of his time.

Was there success in his career?

Yes, it was not all bad for Van de Velde as he managed to accumulate a few professional wins along the way including grabbing a top twenty spot in the Order of Merit and also winning the Roma Masters.

9. Jean Garaialde

Born in Ciboure, Jean Geraialde is one of the more established French golfers in France. As a local legend, he has long been acclaimed as a top-tier French golfer that has done it all.

This includes willing his way to multiple PGA championships in France.

There was a time when it was Garaialde and then everyone else. This was when he managed to put on one of the more prolific winning streaks in French golf history of seven straight national championships.

He was also one of the trusted members of France’s national golf team and managed to represent them more than 20 times at the World Cup.

10. Raphael Jacquelin

Jacquelin worked on his craft in the 90s as he was attempting to become a professional golfer out of France.

It didn’t take long for him to dominate as he won the French Amateur Championship (1995) and was quickly guided to becoming a pro golfer.

This is when he did well on the Challenge Tour and his career moved forward.

Unfortunately, it was not easy for Jacquelin as he was working on his game. It took a while to nab a win on the European Tour and that occurred when he won the Open de Madrid in 2005.

Regardless of not winning as many tournaments as he would have liked, he has still accumulated millions of dollars in earnings and is one of the finest French golfers to ever play.

11. Michael Lorenzo-Vera

Born in Bayonne, Michael Lorenzo-Vera became a professional golfer in 2005.

At the time, he was working as an amateur golfer and di well as he worked through the Alps Tour.

By 2006, he had won the Open International de la Mirabelle D’or.

While he continues to work hard on his game, he has had a few close opportunities on the biggest tours including coming second in the Volvo China Open.

Are There Any French Professional Golfers?

Yes, there are multiple French professional golfers including Michael Lorenzo-Vera, Alexander Levy, and Romain Langasque.

Is Golf A Big Sport In France?

While golf is not equal to football in France, it is still one of the most popular sports in the nation. It has a long, rich history in France including the years when Massy was a professional golfer during the early-1900s.

Final Thoughts

Who are the best French golfers of all time?

The best French golfers of all time include Arnaud Massy, Jean Van de Velde, and Alexander Levy to name a few. These are some of the most cherished past and present names in the world of French golf.

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