Rating: 5 out of 5.

Rating 5/5

Review of Golf du Touquet ‘La Mer’

Just 45 minutes from Calais, is located the revered Golf du Touquet and its signature course ‘La Mer’ (the Sea course). One of the most recognised courses in France, ‘La Mer’ has a reputation to uphold, having hosted the French Open on 6 occasions with notable ex-winners including the late Seve Ballesteros. Indeed, during the 1970’s the course hosted the French Open on numerous occasions, the last being in 1977.

In today’s standards, 6,275 metres might not be the longest, but it still represents a significant challenge. Designed in the 1930’s by the respected golf course architect Harry Colt, La Mer is a beast of a course nestled within the sand dunes of the Opale coast. The fairways weave through the magnificent dunes bordered on both sides by wild rough. Stray shots are seriously unadvised and will find you heavy penalised. To add another challenge to this already testing golf course, players must contend with strong winds coming off the Channel and funnelling through the intricate maze of fairways.

Stand out holes include the left to right dog-leg 9th, with a daunting tee shot to the distant fairway. The 150 yard stretch up to the green has enjoyed significant work with the grouping of bunkers being particularly pleasing on the eye. The short Par-3 10th is also a great hole, with a carry of 139 metres to a narrow well-protected green.

Beginning in 2011, the course underwent significant redevelopment with Frank Pont, a Dutch golf course architect, and Patrice Boissonnas, an up-and-coming French golf course architect, having been brought in to restore and renovate the course to its original Colt features. Greens and bunkers have both benefited from this project.

All-in-all, this is a brutal test and only better handicap golfers should take it on. The best time to play the course is midweek, with the fairways getting pretty busy on Saturdays and Sundays. You can also enjoy Resident rates here if you are staying in either the 4-star Hotel Westminster in the centre of Le Touquet or the 3-star Le Manoir Hotel, a favourite amongst visiting Brits, onsite at the golf course.