Golf de Chantaco golf club was founded in 1928 by René Thion de la Chaume and the great Arnaud Massy marked the occasion with an exhibition match along with fellow countryman Jan Gassiat and a couple of Jersey professionals, brothers Aubrey and Percy Boomer.
Simone Thion de la Chaume, the 13-time French Ladies Amateur champion, accepted the presidency of the club from her father in 1930, holding the position for 44 years until handing over to Catherine Lacoste. She, in turn, guided the club for a further 35 years before passing on the presidential baton to her niece, Camille Lacoste, in 2009.
The course lies just outside the little fishing town of St Jean de Luz, a short half an hour drive south of Biarritz, and it’s one of the most celebrated golfing layouts in the Basque region, largely through the charming ambiance both on and off the course that’s been cultivated over many years by its owners.
Designed by Harry Colt, the course consists of two distinct nines, with tree-lined fairways wandering through woodland on the front nine and water coming into play on the inward half. Five of the holes are configured as par threes and three are set out as par fives.
Extending to 5,833 metres from the back tees and playing to a par of 70, Golf de Chantaco has hosted the Open de France Dames for professional women since 2012 and the French Open for their male counterparts was also held here in 1970, an event won by Australian David Graham.