I guess Harry Colt’s best work did not take place in France. A couple of notable appearances on French soil, yes, but ultimately failing to reach the dizzying heights of more celebrated efforts on the correct side of the English Channel. This could make him the Glenn Hoddle of golf course design.
The La Mer option at Le Touquet actually felt like a close relative of the Haagsche in Holland. The land here has good movement but is less dramatic (less severe, even). The well-sited greens have challenge due to tilt, run offs, and false fronts, but I found them less difficult (also not a bad thing). Stands of scrubby trees lining the holes are more ubiquitous, but it’s the same sandy dunescape that brings to mind its Dutch Cousin.
The course is well routed through this suitable land and several good holes make this a fine experience. The dogleg left opener is a perfect getaway, with your second shot hitting up the hill, leading into #2 - a pretty & challenging short hole (that feels a bit randomly bunkered). Holes #11 & #12 were favourites, but there were others. My only negative is that it arguably lacks the hole variety of the very best courses - Deja Vu on a few tee shots.
I’m looking forward to returning though and paired up with Hardelot Les Pins, it becomes more than the sum of its constituent parts. It might not be from Harry Colt’s top drawer, but I preferred it to Royal Zoute, and there are those Haagsche hints. And the bar is set high, so don’t let this discourage you - it’s still a Prince Harry on Doak’s lesser known poor relation scale. This sneaks it a 5 ball rating from me, rounding up from 4.751
Date: April 18, 2020