Hardelot (Les Pins) - North East France - France

Golf d'Hardelot,
Avenue du Golf,
62152 Hardelot,
France


  • +33 (0)3 2183 7310

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  • Tom Simpson

  • Ken Strachan


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Close to the Edwardian seaside resort of Hardelot in the Pas de Calais northern region of France lies the beautiful golf course, Les Pins. The course is delightfully set amongst the dunes and a glorious pine forest. The club was originally founded in 1905 and, in 1931, it was re-designed by Tom Simpson.

Les Pins hosted the Nations Cup in 1972 and the Philip Morris International in 1974, and whilst it no longer features on the professional circuit, it presents a good test for all levels of golfer. The course rewards careful golf and although the 1st provides a deceptively wide fairway, the following holes become more testing as the pine forest, through which the course meanders, encroaches.

Hardelot brings to mind the classical era of British golf architecture and Les Pins has a very similar feel to the Red course at the Berkshire. An additional benefit at Hardelot is the climate, which is warmed by the Gulf Stream. This ensures enough rain to keep the fairways and greens in glorious condition, but enough mild weather to ensure enjoyable golf all year round.

The sandy soil provides perfect drainage and the bunkers are deep and full of fine sand. The natural contours presented by a proliferation of sand dunes add a distinctive charm to an already attractive course.

Dutch architect Frank Pont and Patrice Boissonnas, whose family own Open Golf Club, the company that operates Hardelot, spent three years reworking the course at Les Pins, using old photographs and drawings to breathe new life into this Tom Simpson design.

More than three thousand trees were removed, greens were enlarged to their original dimensions, fairways were widened and all the Simpson bunkers rebuilt to “honour the artistic vision of the great architect and create a stronger, more strategic defence,” according to Patrice Boissonnas.

The course now plays to a par of 71, after the 2nd and 16th holes were reduced to par fours, though a more subtle change sees the short holes now play longer as the round progresses: the downhill 5th measures 120 yards, the 7th is a bit longer at 150 yards, the downhill 12th now requires an exacting 160-yard tee shot, the beautiful 14th is a strong 175-yard par three and the 17th requires a hybrid or wood to carry the 180 yards from tee to green.

Hardelot has a lovely clubhouse and the location is ideal for travelling golfers, especially those living in the South of the UK. The club lies only 30 minutes away from the Channel Tunnel terminus, providing the perfect opportunity for a day's golf.

Les Dunes, which opened for play in 1990, is the second course at Hardelot. Located a mile or so up the road, it is definitely worth playing alongside the highly French polished Les Pins.

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Reviews for Hardelot (Les Pins)

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Description: Close to the Edwardian seaside resort of Hardelot in the Pas de Calais northern region of France lies the beautiful golf course, Les Pins. It's set amongst the dunes and a glorious pine forest. Rating: 4.8 out of 6 Reviews: 13

Firstly this is a lovely course. The tee boxes, fairways and greens are in immaculate condition. There are some really great holes here my favourites being 1, 9, 15, 16, 17 and 18. The course runs as you would expect, it flows like a course that knows what it is.

I would challenge anyone who plays here not to enjoy themselves as it is a set of 18 good holes.

I know we shouldn’t talk about the club house, but once you are finished jump in the car and pop up to the Dunes for a beer.

5 / 6
Hardelot (Les Pins)
June 28, 2018


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Playing the renovated Les Pins course at Hardelot earlier this month was without doubt one of the unexpected highlights of my golfing season. By recreating Tom Simpson's masterpiece, Patrice Boissonnas and Frank Pont have delivered one of the most successful renovation programmes ever seen in Continental Europe. The clever bunkering and superb original routing on this perfect piece of tumbling, sandy real estate is a fine example of Simpson at his brilliant best. Old photographs and Hardelot (Les Pins) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer drawings were used to recreate the shapes and contours of greens and their surrounds and an extensive tree clearance programme has created fairway width as well as the occasional tantalising view. The course agronomy has also benefitted from fewer trees as the finer grasses find it easier to become established, the only downside being the nearby housing which has become a little more obvious.

The feeling of being in golf heaven is there from the very first shot as the opening par-5 delivers magnificent strategic bunkering set amongst towering pines. As one dramatic hole follows another you soon begin to realise that this is no average golf course as there isn't a single weak hole to be found.

The collection of five par-3's which increase in length as the round progresses are particularly memorable and the variety of the Hardest (Les Pins) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer par-4's is impressive to say the least. An outstanding run of holes commences at the 5th and continues to the turn, the attractive 8th may not play much over 300 yards but a large fairway bunker and small slippery green make this a much tougher prospect than it really ought to be. We then hit over a marker post, hopefully carrying a ridge to an angled fairway at the blind 9th. This is a wonderful hole where misplaced shots can easily be blocked out from a challenging approach to a plateau green.

Personal favourites on the back nine would include the 11th, a short par-4 playing uphill to a green protected by huge bunkers and the 15th which gives us the option of playing either side of a tall stand of pines. The tighter route to the right offers the easier approach but bunkers must be avoided, whilst the easier option to the left leaves a more demanding approach to a sloping raised green.

The European Tour Qualifying School has visited Hardelot between 2011 and 2017 suggesting that this is a beauty that can show its teeth when needed. Thankfully the average golfer will find it not only very playable but also great fun.

A big move forwards in the Continental Europe rankings during the next few years is all but guaranteed. Brian W

6 / 6
Hardelot (Les Pins)
October 31, 2017


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First class golf course. The site is fantastic, best sandy subsoil you can dream of for a track, the trees are majestic, the fairway grass leaves are so fine they would put to shame most greens in France, bunkers are perfect even if a bit firm.

The main thing is that there is not a single bad hole, every tee shot is well thought, the greens well contoured, bunkers cutting beautifully into them. This is heaven!

My only criticism is the green speed. There is plenty of grass, no problem getting the blades down to 4mm so that customers enjoy a proper championship course!

We played it twice, first from the whites, then from the tips... This is quite something!

6 / 6
Hardelot (Les Pins)
May 15, 2017


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Another recent renovation by Frank Pont and Patrice Boissonas who have also recently tackled Le Touquet La Mer. At Hardelot they also took on an extensive renovation with many challenges involved including removal of many thousand trees. The result is fantastic. The entire course has been Hardelot (Les Pins) Golf Course - Photo by revieweropened up and Simpson’s genius has been brought back to life. Both 9’s are excellent but my personal preference goes out to the land movement and variation on the front 9. There are many excellent holes and the course is a blast to play. The run from 7 to 9 are among the best holes on the property. 7 is a short uphill par 3 with a wild green and surrounded by bunkers. 8 a short drivable par 4 with a wonderful raised green and 9 the number 1 hcp hole with a blind drive over bunkers and a waste area that highly rewards a risky shot to the left side of the fairway with a much better look at the raised green that moves away right to left to the angle of play.

Hardelot (Les Pins) Golf Course - Photo by reviewer

The back 9 covers slightly less dramatic land after the drop shot par 3 12th but possesses excellent holes. 15 is a rather quirky short par 4. Feeling wise I struggled with the look of this hole and it’s slightly unclear choice of left or right fairway separated clumps of tall trees. In the end I took driver and swung full tilt. That worked fine as well.

16-18 are very strong finishing holes and do a superb job of completing the routing. It’s an excellent course, simply another demonstration of Simpson’s genius and fortunately for us a thoughtful renovation.

5 / 6
Hardelot (Les Pins)
October 22, 2016


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Played this course in mid-May 2015 - was actually very impressed. The greens appeared to have just been hollow-cored, which was bad-timing, but the overall layout was excellent and we were thoroughly impressed. I think it depends on what you expect from the round; if you're a stickler for immaculate tee-boxes and areas around the green (i.e. a Woburn/Wentworth) then you'll be let down, but if you're more interested in a well-laid out course with an old feel, then you'll enjoy it here.Only negative is that it is a five hour round. All agreed that we would like to play again and all prefered it to Le Touquet (Mer) - although in fairness this is under construction at the moment so has a poor start and finish.Would recommend.
5 / 6
Hardelot (Les Pins)
May 20, 2015


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Played this course on the 19/04/15. Although a very nicely designed course the condition was awful. Shabby tee boxes, shabby fairways, un-puttable greens and bunkers that were so full of sand they were completely unplayable! Its sister course The Dunes had better bunkers but was just as shabby. Really disappointed!
1 / 6
Hardelot (Les Pins)
April 20, 2015


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It is such a pity that for much of this fine course the development of real estate intrudes to the fringe of so many holes. Les Dunes does not as yet have this degree of development and is every bit as challenging and as enjoyable as Les Pins. Both fall significantly short of La Mer in Le Touquet.
3 / 6
Hardelot (Les Pins)
April 23, 2012


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Played here on the 23rd march 2012 alongside La Mer and Les Dunes. I was quite surprised by the quality of the course. I found La Mer to be a sterner test of golf but I really enjoyed my round on Les Pins. You need to play well around the par 5s to score well. The bunkering is truly magnificent. They were all well kept and were placed in the right spots. Th edges were very high and it really causes trouble to be in one, especially on the fairway. The best holes in my opinion were the par 3 fifth, which is a lovely little hole with brutal bunkers all around the green, the par 4 ninth that gives you a lot of options from the tee, challenging to take risk and play a blind shot to leave an approach as short as possible; the eleventh, a great risk and reward par 4 and the finish is quite special with the downhill par 3 17th and the fantastic long downhill par 4 18th. A remarkable hole with a great view on the clubhouse over the narrow pine tree- lined fairway. MO
5 / 6
Hardelot (Les Pins)
March 26, 2012


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Played Hardelot for the second time last weekend after a years break, we enjoyed it so much we went round again till it got dark. A quality course within easy reach of Calais, and potentially an easy and inexpensive day trip from the south coast. Quite busy on a Saturday in May, but definitely worth a visit
5 / 6
Hardelot (Les Pins)
May 29, 2011


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We played Les Pins on a Friday at the end of April - what a charming course! It was in great condition, not expensive and less than a third full. A glorious spring day with blazing sunshine did nothing to diminish our enjoyment of the day. As mentioned, by others below - accuracy rather than distance was the order of the day - so it was no surprise that the "short but straight" hitters of our group won the money. I particularly enjoyed the narrower par 5's like the 6th & 13th where there was no margin for error, and the picturesque par 3's especially the 7th and 17th, although I didn't find any of the holes dull. At only 30 minutes from Eurotunnel, it's a an easy trip, good value and definitely worthwhile, this trip we combined it with Le Touquet (La Foret),which was a decent enough course. but after glorious Hardelot it seemed a bit lacklustre.
5 / 6
Hardelot (Les Pins)
April 26, 2010


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