Almost 90 years ago the creation of two iconic golf courses triggered a golden age of golf travel for France’s Channel-facing Côte d’Opale.
Today the region is preparing for another golden age thanks to painstaking restoration work. Which has seen both Le Touquet Golf Resort’s La Mer Course and Golf d’Hardelot’s Les Pins Course (15th hole pictured above) returned to their original glory.
Colt & Alison’s classic La Mer layout and Tom Simpson’s Les Pins were opened within months of each other in 1931. Just as the town of Le Touquet was gaining a reputation as Europe’s most fashionable and also an elite sporting playground for the rich and famous.
Star attractions for a new golden age
Occupying the dramatic terrain between the Côte d’Opale’s expansive duneland and swathes of pine forest, the two courses remain the star attractions of Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot. The two premier resorts are sitting just 12 miles apart in France’s northernmost department, Pas-de-Calais.
Both courses quickly won plaudits for their ability to charm and challenge in equal measure. And after their recent successful restorations by golf architects Patrice Boissonnas and Frank Pont, they continue to do so. Both La Mer, France’s number one links, and Les Pins have climbed significantly in golf rankings.
Brian Ward, who visited both courses recently for top100golfcourses.com, said:
— Tom Simpson’s initial design at Hardelot has been expertly and lovingly brought back to life by Pont and Boissonnas. The exquisite bunker renovation and careful pruning of encroaching trees has rightfully positioned Les Pins amongst the very best layouts in continental Europe. At Le Touquet, Boissonnas and Pont’s high-quality renovation of La Mer has not only restored much of the original links character, but has created a much more interesting layout. Which is now a must play for all.
Le Touquet Golf Resort and Golf d’Hardelot are both owned by Laurent Boissonnas. He confirms his vision is to help establish a new golden age of golf travel to this coastal area of northern France.
– And it is our objective to put its golf offering firmly back on the map, making it one of the finest golf destinations in Europe, Boissonnas added.