We decided to write in for the 24the Amateur Classic Tournament held at Golf du Touquet at the end of august this year.
The tournament is scheduled for 4 days: 2 rounds at Touquet la Mer and 2 rounds at Touquet la Forêt, alternating.
Having played la Mer a couple of years ago, I was looking forward visiting the course again and to get acquainted with the changes they made to holes 14-16.
Although la Mer is situated near the coast, I don't think the quality of the turf would qualify la Mer as a pure links golf course. Having said that, it is a wonderful designed golf course situated in a panoramic dunes landscape, a true classic course. Some par4's are testing long (especially those against prevailing wind direction!), but overall the course allows for a decent score. If you favour your course management skills over your desire to overpower every shot from the tee & at the pin.
After a decent opening nine (closing with a nice testing par4 against the wind), the course shows it's real beauty with the closing nine. The closing nine starts with a charming, but well protected, short par3, and after a varied test of golf holes, the round ends with a beautiful downhill par4.
Despite the fact that the holes 14-16 are relatively new, I do believe that they have made the second nine a more balanced nine: in the old days this part of the course felt more like a parkland course then a dunes course. They must have cleared tonnes of trees to (re)create the links feeling at this part of the course again, having the holiday houses behind the green of the 13&14th more in sight, as an obvious trade off. The only week hole on the back nine remains hole 17: a rather straight forward uphill par5, now being the only hole with that old parkland feel to it.
I expected top notch maintenance levels, and maybe this was the only aspect of the course that disappointed me. Among more general maintenance findings, I think that especially the greens could benefit from some extra TLC: the greens should be a touch (or 2....) firmer and faster, allowing putts to hold their lines on these beautiful contoured greens. Lets hope that with the economy shifting gears, the maintenance levels can be raised accordingly. With maintenance at normal levels, definitely worth a 5 ball rating.
All in all, Touquet la Mer is one of the better golf courses the Côte d'Opale has on offer and a must play golf course when visiting this area of la douce France (with Hardelot les Pines, Touquet la Forêt, Belle Dunes & Wimereux)
Can't wait to play this course again during the 25th Amateur Classic Tournament at le Touquet next year!
Date: September 13, 2017