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Dinard

Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, Bretagne
ArchitectBadgeTom Dunn
Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, Bretagne
Rankings
  • Address53 Bd de la Houle, 35800 Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, France

Situated four miles to the west of Dinard, along the sandy shoreline of Brittany’s Emerald Coast at Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, the fairways of Dinard Golf Club date back to the late 1880s when a group of British servicemen established a number of sporting clubs that would cater for the varied leisure interests of their members.

North Berwick professional Tom Dunn was enlisted to set out a course amongst the gorse and broom on a 125-acre seaside parcel of land which was formerly occupied by only sheep and cattle. It wasn’t long before Dinard became one of the most fashionable places to play golf in France, attracting even aristocracy like the Grand Duke of Russia.

Tom Dunn (brother of Willie Dunn, who laid out the course at Biarritz around the same time) was married to Isabella “Queenie” Gourlay, “the greatest professional of her day” and he would later design more than a hundred courses, mainly in England, including the likes of Lindrick and Royal Worlington & Newmarket.

Sadly, the course has been modified many times over the years so much of Dunn’s work has been diluted. What remains constant is the layout’s lack of length because it still measures a modest 5,334 metres from the back tees. With only one par five (at the right doglegged 4th) and five par threes on the card, the course plays to a par of 68.

Because the eighteen fairways are strung out along the English Channel coastline, out of bounds comes into play at many of the holes so accuracy is the watchword at Dinard. One of the feature holes is the 152-metre 13th, “Les Essarts,” which plays uphill from an old World War II concrete fortification to an exposed flag position on a ridge-top green.

The book 500 world’s greatest golf holes by author George Peper and the editors of GOLF magazine features the 310-metre par four 6th hole at Dinard: “Dunn laid out this seaside beauty in 1887, well before earth-moving equipment was available. The hole’s undulations are wild and untamed, as nature intended. The narrow fairway is the midpoint of a three-step elevation change, sweeping down to the ocean on the right. Mounds up to twenty feet tall can create some interesting stances for the approach, which is played to a steep-faced green surrounded by swales and native rough.”

Situated four miles to the west of Dinard, along the sandy shoreline of Brittany’s Emerald Coast at Saint-Briac-sur-Mer, the fairways of Dinard Golf Club date back to the late 1880s when a group of British servicemen established a number of sporting clubs that would cater for the varied leisure interests of their members.

North Berwick professional Tom Dunn was enlisted to set out a course amongst the gorse and broom on a 125-acre seaside parcel of land which was formerly occupied by only sheep and cattle. It wasn’t long before Dinard became one of the most fashionable places to play golf in France, attracting even aristocracy like the Grand Duke of Russia.

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Course Architect

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Tom Dunn

Tom Dunn started his golf career as a club maker at North Berwick in 1869 and remained as the club’s professional for twelve years, employing two men and his younger brother Willie as an apprentice.

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