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The likes of the Algarve in Portugal and the Costa del Sol in Spain are understandably popular golf holiday destinations for golfers travelling from the UK, but Northern France, which is comparatively just a stone’s throw away, can sometimes get overlooked. And that’s a crying shame.
With a whole host of outstanding golf courses spattered all over the country, as well as the promise of amazing culture, art, gastronomy, history and scenery to enjoy during your time away from the course, France is an outstanding golf holiday destination and with the advent of the Eurotunnel, the already well-known resort towns of Le Touquet and Hardelot, and their phenomenal golf courses, became even more accessible.
We sent PGA Professional and Youtube Golf Guru, Mark Crossfield over to France armed with his camera and a trusty sidekick from YGT to film at some of the courses and let you guys know exactly what’s in store for golfers popping over The English Channel on their next golf holiday.
Here are some of the Signature Holes from the trip…
La Mer is Golf du Touquet’s crowning glory, and has frequently hosted prestigious professional tournaments, including the French Open on numerous occasions. Designed by famed architect Harry Colt, who is best known for his projects at Sunningdale, Wentworth and St. George’s Hill, La Mer sits perfectly among the dunes of the Pas de Calais region and with its wonderful sea views from elevated tees, formidable bunkering, huge dunes and fast but firm greens, it’s perhaps the best true links course in France.
“If you love links golf, you will absolutely love La Mer. The course is in fantastic condition with some really beautiful holes framed by the surrounding dunes. It’s more open than many of the other courses in Northern France which will appeal to those who might spray it a bit off the tee. The course is more exposed to the coast so wind is certainly a factor. Very impressive – an absolute treat to play.”
Local tip: Take a climb up the stairs to the viewing platform behind the tee on the 18th to enjoy spectacular views over the links.
Belle Dune is the southernmost golf club of the trio completed by Le Touquet and Hardelot and, set on the Channel Coast in an area known as Côte d’Opale, it offers a quite unique golfing experience when compared to other courses in France.
While the opening holes take the golfers on a stroll through the pine trees and silver birches, once you reach the turn, you are presented with enormous dunes which frame much of the remainder of the course and completely change its character too.
“This has to be one of the best golf courses I have ever played. It features amazing contrasts between parkland and links style golf; one minute you’re playing through gorgeous French woodland, the next you’re on traditional Scottish links, before returning back to France for the finish. The Par 5 17th has to be one of the most dramatic holes I’ve played in France. An absolute must-play.”
Golf D’Hardelot was originally founded in 1905 but it wasn’t until Tom Simpson’s 1931 revamp that its Les Pins Course really came to the fore. Cut through the magnificent pines of the Pas de Calais region, Les Pins brings to mind the classical era of British golf course design and is reminiscent of the great heathland courses of the Surrey Sandbelt.
“I love courses like this. It reminds me of a Sunningdale, St George’s Hill or a smaller Wentworth. Because it’s not massively long you can really get scoring if you keep the ball in play. But it will punish you if you hit it offline; it’s tree-lined and the drop-offs around the greens will certainly test your short game. An amazing track.”
To see highlights of the rest of the trip…watch the video below!
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